During the summer here in Los Angeles, we regularly see temps in the 90’s and 100’s. The last thing you want to do when it’s that hot is turn on the oven or slave over a hot stove. That’s why I like to experiment with creating cold, no-cook dishes that can be easily thrown together at the last minute. I especially enjoy playing with the Sephardic Jewish salads I’ve learned and putting a new spin on them, using whatever ingredients I have on hand to create something entirely new.
This salad happened during one of my kitchen experiments. I started with a simple family recipe for a Sephardic cucumber salad (cucumber, fresh dill, vinegar, oil and salt), then tweaked the dressing and added some stuff I found in the fridge—organic red radishes and half a white cabbage leftover from another recipe. The result is a delightfully flavorful salad—cold, crunchy, pickly, and easy to throw together at a moment’s notice. I call it my Crunchy Pickled Salad. If you like dill pickles, you’re going to love this salad.
Persian cucumbers are smaller and thinner than traditional English cucumbers. They are smaller and slightly sweeter than the English variety, and they have less seeds. Persian cucumbers are great for snacking. They have a wonderful mineral flavor to them, and they’re used frequently in Middle Eastern cooking. Unfortunately some grocery stores only carry Persian cucumbers seasonally, and some don’t carry them at all. If you can’t find them, substitute English cucumbers—those are the long thin ones wrapped tightly in plastic. Avoid using regular fat cucumbers, as they are coated with wax and prone to bitterness.
My Crunchy Pickled Salad is vegan, pareve, kosher for Passover (if you use a KFP vinegar) and gluten free (if you use a certified GF vinegar). If you really love the pickled flavor, you can add up to 2 tbsp more vinegar to increase the tartness. Enjoy!
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- 2 lbs Persian cucumbers
- 1/2 lb radishes (red or white)
- 1/2 white cabbage, shredded
- 1/2 cup fresh minced dill
- 6 tbsp white wine vinegar (or more to taste)
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp salt (or more to taste)
- Slice the cucumbers into small rounds about ¼ inch thick. Do not peel them. Discard stems.
- Remove the leaves from the radishes and slice them into thinner rounds.
- Place the cucumbers and radishes in a salad bowl along with the shredded white cabbage.
- In a small bowl, whisk together fresh minced dill, white wine vinegar, olive oil and salt. Add more vinegar to taste for a more pickled flavor, and/or more salt if desired.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to blend.
- Refrigerate the salad for 30 minutes to let the flavors marinate. Serve cold.
- If you use red radishes, the red color may “bleed” a little and cause the radishes to turn pink. This does not affect the flavor of the salad, but if it bothers you, use white radishes instead.