Spicy Sweet Pickling Cucumber Salad

I joined Foodbuzz late last month and try to spend a little time daily on the site checking out what fellow foodies are cooking. I found today’s recipe on Lighter and Local.com, a terrific blog written by a Bostonite who balances career and kitchen with aplomb. The recipe caught my eye not only because it sounded great, but also because it contained ZERO SALT!

I didn’t have any pickling cukes in the house (we’d already made ours into pickles) but I did have some extra crispy regular cucumbers from Saturday’s farmer’s market. I hit the herb garden for some chives (check) and dill (nope). Our dill this season went south early on. Before blooming it looked almost burnt up and since the bloom it’s completely faded away, like the salmon equivalent of the plant kingdom. I didn’t feel like making the trek to the store or waiting to restock at our CSA, so I decided to just forgo it. And while I was at it, why not change the recipe a little more?

The recipe below differs quite a bit from the original. In addition to dropping the dill, I swapped rice vinegar in lieu of my current favorite: White Balsamic. White balsamic is a completely different animal than traditional (dark) balsamic vinegar. Light, sweet and fruity, it melds effortlessly without overpowering. Although tasty the first night, by the next day the “pickles” were OUT OF THIS WORLD. So do yourself a favor and let these bad boys marinate overnight.

Yields 4 servings.

SODIUM CONTENT: 4 mg per serving


2 medium cucumbers, sliced
1 small red onion, sliced
1 T. chopped fresh chives
1 T. sugar
1 t. crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 c. white balsamic vinegar


Combine ingredients in a bowl and toss until everything is well coated.

Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Serve and enjoy!

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9 Responses to Spicy Sweet Pickling Cucumber Salad

  1. Yummy! I had so many delicious Persian pickles last week that my life seems so empty now without them. I didn’t know making my own was so easy! I wonder if it’s worth trying to swap out the sugar with Splenda or Truvia or if that will completely ruin them.

  2. Christy says:

    I just did a quick Google search to see. People definitely make pickles with both splenda and truvia.

    If you convert the recipe above, I’d start w/ 1/2 t. splenda or truvia and go from there. They’re both said to be much, much sweeter than sugar, so better to be safe than sorry. You can always add more, but there’s no way to take it out once in. So glad you’re back Katie!! Hope you had a wonderful time in Cali.

  3. shambo says:

    These look good. I think pickles add so much to a meal or sandwich. I’ll have to get some cukes at the farmers market this weekend.

  4. dianne says:

    OMG – made this today after I got your post…DELICIOUS!! thanks for sharing : )

  5. If there’s a pickle around, I’ll find it (and then it won’t be around for much longer).
    These sound (and look) amazing, Dishy!

  6. Anna says:

    I’m in love with mason jars lately, so adorable and practical. Pickled salad must be lovely. It looks great.

  7. Tiffany says:

    The cucumber salad looks like the perfect summer side dish!

  8. i love how people (i’m looking at YOU) have ingredients like these just hanging around the house. if you tried to make this recipe at my house with my current pantry stores, you’d come away with a plastic Solo cup (no mason jars) of SUGAR. that’s the ONLY ingredient i have on hand. very sad. but i do have a jar of pickles from ’07 in the fridge. does that count?

  9. Christy says:

    Dianne, I am SO glad you enjoyed it!! And thanks so much Shambo, Inky, Anna & Tiffany – really hope you try it too. As for you, Natalie… I’m not holding my breath. hahahah Kisses!

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