From America's Test Kitchen Season 3: Barbecued Salmon
The natural crunch of cucumbers makes them an obvious choice for a salad, but their high moisture content means that they almost always turn soft and make sauces watery. In our salad, the creamy dill sauce highlights the fresh flavor of still-crisp cucumbers.
Watery vegetables like cucumbers are often salted before use in a salad; typically, they are sliced, tossed in salt, and left to drain in a colander. In the case of cucumbers, the water is drawn out through their permeable walls, and the slices become wilted yet stay crisp. Cooks disagree on how much salt to use, but we found that just a small amount per cucumber pulls out enough moisture without making the salad overly salty. Weighing down the slices with a zipper-lock freezer bag full of water speeds up the process. After three hours, we rinsed the cucumbers and patted them dry. (There’s no need to weight and drain the cucumbers overnight; they stop releasing moisture after three hours.) Tasters unanimously preferred salads made from these cucumbers for their superior crunch and less diluted dressings. Half a red onion, sliced very thin, contributes an additional freshness and crunch that pair particularly well with our creamy dill sauce.
Serves 4 as a side dish
Salting and draining the onion along with the cucumbers in this recipe removes the sharp sting of raw onions.