Apparently the first day of summer is June 21st, but if you are from Texas and have spent more than 30 seconds outside, the whole “Summer Solstice” things seems a bit like a joke. It always make me laugh when I see cardigans for sale when it is 100 degrees plus – where do you think I live? San Diego?? In my opinion the best way to beat the Heat is a combination of: Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Terry, and Jason Kidd (oh wait, I was talking about temperature…) How about a cold pool, a refreshing drink, and an easy snack? And when I say easy, I mean as little time spent in the kitchen as possible. Not that I don’t love cooking, but who wants to stand over a hot stove for an hour in summer? Nobody, that’s who.
Thus begins my summer series on simple sides (how’s that for alliteration?) I think this salad is the perfect dish to start with. Lately I can’t get enough of pickled onions. Maybe you don’t think you like onions, and these look suspiciously raw. Well let me tell you, this is a whole different ball game. They’re salty, they’re sweet, they’re perfect. And when you add a few cucumbers in the mix, they absorb all the great flavors too. It’s a win-win situation and there are only 2 main ingredients. So stop readings blogs (guilty), make this real fast, and head to the pool. You’ll be as cool as a cucumber.
Pickled Onion and Cucumber Salad, adapted from Smitten Kitchen
- 1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cane sugar
- 1 cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
In a small bowl combine the vinegar, water, salt, and sugar. Whisk until the salt and sugar begin to dissolve. Add the red onion and let sit for an hour. 30 minutes will do the trick, but the longer they sit, the better they are. Mix in the cucumber slices for the last 10 minutes. Serves 3-4 as a side dish. If you want to make it more substantial try adding tomato wedges. You could also easily make this into a delicious Greek salad. I might have to do that next time…