Ina Garten’s Creamy Cucumber Salad. Mostly.

by A.J. Coltrane

We had company over for grilling last night, and we have lots of cucumbers, so I made a creamy cucumber salad, using Ina Garten’s recipe as a starting point. Pictured is a family-style presentation:

150720 cucumber salad

Her salad calls for four hot-house cucumbers and two small red onions. The dressing is a 4-1 ratio of whole-milk yogurt to sour cream, flavored with dill, white wine vinegar, and pepper.

On the Barefoot Contessa tv show she uses greek yogurt and sour cream for dressing. Inspired by that, I used a small (6 oz) Greek yogurt and about 1.5 ounces of sour cream, flavored with fresh mint, dried oregano, cumin, and rice wine vinegar. It’s what we had available, and the flavorings pushed the recipe in a welcome Mediterranean direction.

The other difference between hers and the one pictured is that I didn’t have time to drain the cucumbers, onions, and yogurt for the 4+ hours (or overnight) called for in the recipe. For me, it needed to be done draining in about an hour. Longer might have been preferable, but the result was good with the shorter time allowed.

She suggests that this salad is a good substitute for cole slaw, and I think that’s accurate. It’s best served chilled, and it gets better when allowed to “marinate” for a while. It was definitely a nice change of pace from the other grilled foods we offered. We’ll be making it again for sure.

2 comments to Ina Garten’s Creamy Cucumber Salad. Mostly.

  • That’s a nice recipe. Of course, draining regular yogurt _makes_ it into Greek yogurt, so you pretty much did the work on that side. And an hour draining your cucumbers (which are likely a bit firmer than hothouse cucumbers) is probably a close approximation of Ina’s method. The mint, though, instead of dill, that’s a nice change. I’ll have to try that. Got any extra mint? Hehe…

    BTW, Ina Garten is one of the few TV chefs who has won Tony Bourdain’s praise.

  • A.J. Coltrane

    “..flavored with fresh mint, dried oregano, cumin, and rice wine vinegar..”

    Too bad we didn’t have a lemon on hand to substitute for the vinegar. That would have been *very* “Mediterranean”. (We have some frozen lemons, but there was enough multitasking with making dinner that the lemon idea didn’t occur to me until writing this comment.)

    We have lots of mint, including some in a pot in the front yard if you need it. We’re still working on suppressing the mint in the back yard, a “gift” from the previous occupants..

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