Simple Cucumber and Onion Salad

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Simple Cucumber and Onion SaladThis year my wife, my best friend, and I all turn 30.  Up until now, I’ve kind of viewed it as just another birthday.  We had decided we would all go to Vegas this fall to celebrate, but it doesn’t look like that’s going to be possible – that whole having-to-be-a-responsible-adult thing really stinks sometimes.  This past weekend we celebrated my wife’s birthday, she’s the oldest of the three of us.  We had a great little celebration at a local restaurant with 30 of our closest friends and family.  Somehow after the party though, the realization of what 30 means has started to sink in.

I bought my first house at 22 years old.  Then, thinking about a 30 year mortgage meant paying it off when I was 52.  Not a big deal.  It’s different now.  A 30 year mortgage now, means it won’t be paid off until I’m 60.  More shocking is thinking that my child will be 32 then.  Wait! Am I saving enough for retirement?  Surely Social Security will be nonexistent by then, right?  Did I just say that?

It’s weird.  I’m not really scared of 30.  I guess 30 just means no one can look at me as a kid anymore.  Thirty is the age where you are officially, beyond the shadow of a doubt, an adult.  The truth is, I’m pretty mature for my age, but this just confirms it.  I keep thinking that there have to be some wild and crazy things that I need to squeeze into my twenties before the big three o – things that only a “kid in his twenties” would do.  I’m at a loss though.  I’ve never been a wild and crazy kind of guy.  Should I have been?  Did I miss out on something by not being wild and crazy? I think…  I think I’m thinking too much.  I’m too old for all this stress…  I’m so confused.

One thing I do know for sure is  that some of the most simple recipes are the best and this one is certainly not an exception to the rule.  Every time I make this stuff, I end up eating about half of it before supper time just picking at it while I’m cooking. The cool cucumber combined with the sweet onion and the tart vinegar, it’s just delish!Simple Cucumber and Onion Salad




  • 5 or 6 small pickling cucumbers (you can use 2 or 3 English cucumbers if that’s all you can get your hands on)
  • half of a medium-sized Vidalia onion
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • black pepper (optional)


  1. Peel cucumbers and slice to your liking.  Peel and slice onion.  Combine in a large bowl.
  2. Combine vinegar, water, sugar, salt, and garlic and pour over cucumbers and onions.
  3. Allow to sit at least an hour before serving.  Sprinkle with black pepper (optional).
Simple Cucumber and Onion Salad
Prep time
Total time
  • 5 or 6 small pickling cucumbers (you can use 2 or 3 English cucumbers if that’s all you can get your hands on)
  • half of a medium-sized Vidalia onion
  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • black pepper (optional)
  1. Peel cucumbers and slice to your liking. Peel and slice onion. Combine in a large bowl.
  2. Combine vinegar, water, sugar, salt, and garlic and pour over cucumbers and onions.
  3. Allow to sit at least an hour before serving. Sprinkle with black pepper (optional).
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  1. LOVE IT !!!

  2. Angie's BIG Love of Food says:

    It’s like Fire & Ice w/o the Fire!!! I love it cause I can’t eat tomatoes!! I am off to make this. Thanks & big southern hugs!!

    • You got it! I don’t do tomatoes either! Let me know how it turns out!

      • Janice Gowens says:

        You don’t eat tomatoes??????? What about BLTs? Oh, yikes. I consider tomatoes one of the foods of the gods.

        • Janice – I don’t eat raw tomatoes. I know, I know… how could I!?!? LOVE them cooked. Just can’t do them raw. It’s really the only food hang-up that I have. I’ve tried so many times to force myself to like them, but I just can’t do it! I want to, it’s just not in the cards for me.

          • Tommajean says:

            Summertime tomatoes, sliced paper thin, layered about 3/4 inch thick, salted and peppered, on white bread with lots of Miracle Whip. Only way I can eat them. Can’t bite into a thick slice, but a pile of thin ones is perfect.

          • Well, youngin’, 30 is a baby you are just getting a good foothold on life so don;t over think it all. Trust this 60 year old Southern Lady. Bein’ wild is somethin you spend time soooo regretin’ seen it to much. Wisdom comes with time and while not the brightest bulb in the pack. I am am neither the dimmest. You have a good head on your shoulders and you are quite right cookin for people is the finest and I seem to cook for an Army on a regular basis but the fun of that is with just two of us I share food with so many and that too is a pure delight. I love feedin’ people and love sharin as well works out perfectly. So young man you just keep on and share the joy of cookin’ because real fellowship happens then with others and that my dear is a two way gift. By the way I make my cucumbers and onions much the same way you do but add a solid pinch of savory and Beau Monde to it a bit more Beaumonde with some chives and dill . People lose their minds…funny huh. Ya all have a good year there is so much more to come. Life gets richer in more ways than I can count . Be Blessed

          • Thanks so much, Pamela!

  3. winniemom says:

    This recipe is what my late husband loved only leave off the garlic and add lots of black pepper. During the summer months would have to make both this and my grandmothers recipe for Cucumber Onion Salad

    5 or 6 small pickling cucumbers sliced and peeled, vidalia onion sliced. Put both in bowl filled with cold water and salt added making a strong salt solution. Let sit about 30 minutes. While this is soaking combine 1/2 cup (or more if you like) sour cream, 1/4 cup vinegar and 1 rounded Tablespoon sugar. Rinse and drain cucumbers and onions. Put dressing over mixing well to cover. Add black pepper to taste. Chill to enhance flavors.

    Either recipe is definitely a summer must to make.

    • That sounds wonderful! Thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks so much for posting your “alternate version”. This is the version I have been unsuccesfully searching for!

      The minor tweaks would be: to use a mandolin to slice both the cucumbers (which do NOT have to be peeled, if sliced VERY thin) and RED onions.

      I also like to sometimes use a light sour cream.

      This creamy sweet/tart version is SO GOOD that I have to double the recipe, or there won’t be enough to serve, as I can’t stop “sampling” it. ;>)

    • That is how we make it, with the sour cream! NO garlic. Apple cider vinegar instead of white because it’s not as astringent. But the best kept secret is……. a pinch of nutmeg. Trust me on that one. No one can figure it out and I’ve never told anyone that before. Darn…I let out the family secret. Oh, well…it’s just us. 😉 Use it in both recipe versions.

      And if Mom was so inclined she would put this over salted and peppered sliced tomatoes. YUM!!

  4. Martha R says:

    We are being invded with cucumbers right now. I made this the other night for dinner WOW!!! I was afraid the sugar would be too much but it was really good. I grew up on Sour Cream Cucumbers and this is a close 2nd. Thanks for this recipe.

  5. Thanks for sharing a great recipe! Delicious.

  6. Thank you for sharing this recipe. I have made this quite abit and each time I have to find one on the internet 😀 I finally
    wrote it down and I am sending this to my mom and sister. I first ate this recipe in 1975, by a couple elderly women that took me under their wings and taught me to cook and some of their old recipes. 😀 thank you for sharing

  7. Libby Mitchell says:

    I haven’t tried your recipe yet, but it sounds delicious! I found your recipe while looking for a salad I had many years ago which had thinly sliced cucumbers, white onions sliced thinly, half & half,cider or white vinegar, a little salt and an amount of sugar I would guess to be about a rounded tablespoonful. It may not be all that healthy, but it was delicious served chilled with a nice summer meal! It was quite refreshing. It probably compares with the recipe someone sent in with the sour cream in it. The recipe I tasted was marinaded for several hours prior to serving if not overnight. Thanks for allowing me to share. Please let me know if you have heard of the recipe I am looking for. Libby M.

  8. I have eat C & O’s all my life. Literally since I was big enough to chew and this is the recipe. Only thing I do a little different, I heat the vinegar, water, sugar & salt. It tends to let the cuc’s & onions take on that taste a little stronger. Thanks for the recipe it reminded me I need vidalla’s!

  9. OMG!!! :O I didn’t think anybody else ate this!!! My grandmother used to make this when we were kids. Sliced onions with cucumbers, salt, pepper and vinegar. Hands down so good and simple. Is this a southern thing haha?

  10. Julia Dawn Mason says:

    My mother used to make this. I grew up eating it every summer when the cucumbers were ripe. If you get a an onion that has a fiery after bite, Run the sliced onion under hot tap water and drain. The fire is taken out of it.. Then add to the salad.

  11. Now that I’m over 50, suddenly I am trying to recreate recipes that I grew up eating, but were so simple my parents &grandparents never wrote down the recipe (all sadly deceased). My Dad used to make this to eat with fresh grown purple hull peas, string beans, & or bunch beans instead of the home made pepper sauce he also made. And yep, I grew up in northern Mississippi.. This recipe sounds like what I remember Daddy making! Yum.

    • Isn’t that the truth!? We don’t really think about those recipes until the folks who made them are gone. Well, hopefully this will be close to your father’s recipe. Enjoy!

  12. Esther Burton says:

    LOVE this salad. My grandmother and mother made this often during the summer harvest. I didn’t know there was an actual recipe for it. 🙂 I want to try the sour cream sauce mentioned above. My question…Is it possible to CAN this recipe…? I’m hoping for a good cucumber harvest this year. 🙂 And would love to can this if possible.

  13. Adding sugar to cucumbers and onions, may be what makes them “Southern”. My (New Jersey born) father’s recipe wasn’t written down as it was made “to taste”. He used a jar, thinly sliced cucumbers and onions, cider vinegar, fresh ground black pepper and minced garlic (dried worked well). He layered black pepper and garlic between a fairly thick layer of cucumbers with an equivalent layer of onions, until the jar was full. Then he filled the jar with cider vinegar. They were good in an hour and better overnight. The “marinade” could be used again. My (Southern born) husband preferred them with water in 1/4 of the jar, so I’d make two jars. His family just used sliced cucumbers and onions with either white or cider vinegar.

  14. PLEASE tell me where you got that glass dish. I have some like it that have been in my family since I can remember. I’m just wondering if you know their origin. Like maybe they came with a new refrigerator YEARS ago.

  15. Jimi Johnston says:

    So simple and yet so good try it you will love it

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