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Cucumber Onion Salad, version 2.0 (gluten-free, with ACD, vegan and raw options)

Posted Jul 07 2010 10:00pm

Growing up, our family summer meals often included a simple, classic cucumber, onion, and tomato salad. The flavors were simple - cucumber, onion, and tomato soaked in a light briny dressing of rice vinegar, sugar, and dill. I adored this salad, and often made it once I had a kitchen of my own. Each bite made me think of childhood summers spent topping fresh green beans with my mom, husking corn on the cob with my grandpa, and picking tomatoes out of the backyard. 

I've really missed that salad since cutting out most vinegars, sugar, and tomatoes from my diet. Over the last couple years I have tried playing with different ways to recreate it in a me-friendly way, but never really found the right combination. I finally hit the jackpot last weekend.  This salad has a fresh and complex flavor and great texture; it is salty, sweet, tart, crunchy.  I used a dressing of lime juice and umeboshi plum vinegar, which isn't really a vinegar at all, but a salty brine leftover from the fermentation and pickling process of making umeboshi plums. I added  little dill, a pinch of mustard, and just a bit of raw honey, and poured it over farmers market cucumbers and onions. Then I let it sit overnight for the flavors to meld, and the next day revealed an amazing salad at the 4th of July barbeque!  My friends really liked it, as evidenced by the photo...

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