Summer’s winding down, so I’m sorry that I am just bringing out this recipe on the blog now. I’ve been making this cucumber salad all summer for the past two years because I think it’s an ideal side dish to smoky grilled meats or tangy barbecue chicken. It kind of reminds me of refrigerator pickles—the cucumbers and onions are fresh and crisp, but then the sweet-and-sour dressing kicks in and wakes up everything on your plate.
I make up a batch of dressing (you can even double it if you want) at the beginning of summer and then periodically as needed. It keeps for quite a while in the back of the fridge. If you always have cucumbers and red onions on hand, you can whip up this salad in no time for impromptu barbecues or lazy summer dinners.
Cucumber-Red Onion Salad
1 cup rice wine vinegar
1 cup sugar
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1-2 Thai chilies, seeds removed, minced
1 English/seedless cucumber, sliced into thin half-moons
¼ of a red onion, thinly sliced
Combine vinegar, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat, add chilies, and cool. Pour several tablespoons over cucumbers and onions (to taste). Refrigerate salad for at least one hour before serving to allow flavors to blend. Leftover dressing can be stored in a jar in the fridge.