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Creamy cucumber salad is a traditional summer time facet. It pairs properly with nearly every part, making it nice for weeknight dinners and cookout spreads. To me, a very good one options crisp cukes and a well-seasoned dressing that’s a little bit bit tangy and creamy, however not too creamy.
For this recipe showdown, I used to be decided to uncover the key to absolutely the greatest creamy cucumber salad. Is salting and draining the cucumber a should? Does bitter cream make a greater dressing than mayo? What about yogurt? How lengthy ought to the salad sit earlier than serving? I headed to the kitchen to seek out out.
To slim down the search, I appeared for recipes that took totally different approaches to this traditional recipe. The 4 I landed on diversified of their dressing substances, their strategy to salting and draining the cucumbers, and their suggestions for the way lengthy to relax the salad earlier than serving.
Allrecipes’ widespread cucumber salad depends on mayonnaise for the dressing, has you salt and drain the cucumbers for one hour earlier than meeting, and recommends chilling the salad for 2 hours earlier than serving.
Ina Garten’s cucumber salad requires salting and draining the cucumbers for no less than 4 hours to take away extra liquid and draining the whole-milk yogurt for the dressing as properly. The strained yogurt is then blended with bitter cream, and the salad chills for a couple of hours earlier than serving.
Taste of Home’s cucumber salad is the most straightforward and simple of the bunch. The cucumbers usually are not salted or strained, and there isn’t any salt added to the salad, both. The dressing is made with a scant quantity of bitter cream.
America’s Test Kitchen’s cucumber salad goes the additional step of seeding the cucumbers, then urgent down on the salted cucumbers (with a water-filled, gallon-sized zip-top bag!) throughout draining to take away much more liquid. The dressing is a bitter cream-based one with loads of recent dill.
How I Examined the Creamy Cucumber Salad Recipes
All 4 recipes had been ready and tasted on the identical day. To reduce ingredient variability, I bought cucumbers and onions from the identical retailer and used the identical manufacturers of substances to make sure I wasn’t swayed by brand-specific variations. Every cucumber salad was evaluated on the time urged within the recipe, on the finish of the day in a side-by-side comparability, and once more the next day.
1. The Quickest Creamy Cucumber Salad: Style of Residence’s Bitter Cream Cucumbers
It is a easy, easy, and speedy salad. Sadly, that wasn’t sufficient to win me over. The most important factor I realized from this recipe is that cucumber salads want salt, which is nowhere to be discovered right here. The shortage of salt left the salad tasting flat, and with out something to steadiness the sugar within the dressing, it skewed a little bit candy.
I did admire that the cucumbers weren’t swimming in dressing, which helped preserve them crisp and crunchy. This recipe is a stable possibility for those who’re operating quick on time — so long as you add a little bit salt.
2. The Most Eye-Catching Creamy Cucumber Salad: America’s Check Kitchen Creamy Dill Cucumber Salad
America’s Check Kitchen is famously recognized for going the additional mile to make the very best model of traditional recipes, and this creamy cucumber salad is not any exception. With bitter cream as the bottom, this salad’s dressing was thick and extremely creamy, with a tang that stored me coming again for extra. It was additionally filled with a beneficiant quantity of recent dill. However maybe my favourite factor about this salad is the way in which the cucumbers had been prepped: halved, seeded, and sliced on the diagonal into strips. It made this salad stand out visually and even made it really feel a little bit bit fancy. I’ll undoubtedly be utilizing this system any further.
Ultimately, this recipe additionally faltered when it got here to salt, however right here the difficulty was an excessive amount of as an alternative of not sufficient. I discovered that there was no want so as to add further salt to the dressing. Belief me — there’s loads from salting and draining the cucumbers.
3. The Cucumber Salad That Will get Higher with Time: Allrecipes’ Dad’s Creamy Cucumber Salad
Probably the most surprising factor about this recipe was simply how a lot my opinion of it modified each time I tasted it. I do know that the majority cucumber salads get higher and extra flavorful the longer they sit, however this one had a critical transformation!
The dressing, which is made largely of mayo, was completely overpowering after I first tasted it. Truthfully, I assumed it was horrible and couldn’t eat greater than a chew. However after the beneficial two-hour chill, issues improved. By the four-hour mark, the overwhelming style of mayo mellowed, the flavors melded, and this salad was good. By the subsequent day, it was actually good. It tasted like a completely totally different salad.
The one factor I’d change on this recipe is the quantity of dressing. It makes so much. The following time I make it, I’ll persist with 1 cup of mayo relatively than 1 1/2 cups.
4. The Absolute Greatest Creamy Cucumber Salad: Ina Garten’s Creamy Cucumber Salad
The issue with most creamy cucumber salads is that the dressing is simply too skinny and runs proper off the cucumbers. Not surprisingly, Ina has solved for that situation. Along with salting and draining the cucumbers to maintain them crunchy, Ina strains the whole-milk yogurt, which you combine with bitter cream for the dressing. It’s such a sensible transfer, and creates a dressing that’s thick, wealthy, and impossibly creamy, with out feeling heavy. It clings to the crunchy cukes, which was precisely what I used to be on the lookout for.
My solely situation with this recipe is that Ina doesn’t peel the cucumbers, and I felt just like the toughness of the pores and skin took away from the salad. It’s a simple-enough repair to peel them subsequent time, although — and there’ll 100% be a subsequent time very quickly.
Do you’ve a favourite creamy cucumber salad recipe? Tell us within the feedback!