Grandma Ramsey's Cucumber Salad

Author: Caitlin J. Ramsey 

Growing up on a farm in Rochester, Illinois, fresh cucumber salad was synonymous with Summer. My grandmother prepared this simple side dish for almost every meal, using cucumbers from the garden behind the house. I learned from my grandma and my dad how to make it, and was one of the first dishes that I would make to help with supper. 

The only difference from the way my dad and grandma make it is that I prefer to use seasoned rice vinegar instead of white vinegar, and to add a few snips of fresh dill. 

It's a good one to start before preparing the rest of your meal, because the cucumbers are best when left in salt to "juice out" for about 20 minutes before seasoning and serving. 

Tip: peeling just stripes of dark green rind from the cucumbers produces an attractive "striped" effect and leaves a bit of crunch and visual interest than completely peeling. 

I like it with grilled or roasted meats, but in the summer, I think it goes with everything. 

Grandma Ramsey's Cucumber Salad


  • About 1.5 lbs fresh salad cucumbers (about 3 large or 8 small), chilled, partially peeled and cut into coins
  • 1/4 cup nakano rice vinegar, or salad vinegar of your choice
  • 1/4 cup kosher or sea salt
  • Optonal: fresh dill, basil, or other herbs.


  1. In a glass or other non reactive bowl, toss the cucumber slices with a generous amount of salt. Leave to juice out for about 20 minutes.
  2. Rinse the cucumbers with cold fresh tap water. It's ok to leave a little residual salt for flavor.
  3. Add the vinegar and toss to combine. Season to taste with salt, pepper and fresh herbs if using. Add more vinegar to taste.

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