Kid-friendly Creamy Cucumber Gurkensalat Salad Recipe - Sticky Fingers Cooking
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Recipe: Creamy Cucumber Gurkensalat Salad

Recipe: Creamy Cucumber Gurkensalat Salad

Creamy Cucumber Gurkensalat Salad

by Dylan Sabuco
Photo by vanillaechoes for shutterstock
prep time
15 minutes
cook time
makes
4-6 servings

Fun Food Story

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Creamy Cucumber Gurkensalat Salad

When you’re craving potato salad, but don’t have time to boil potatoes, this creamy, crunchy cucumber salad may just do the trick!

Happy & Healthy Cooking,

Chef Erin, Food-Geek-in-Chief

Fun-Da-Mentals Kitchen Skills

  • grate :

    to reduce food, like a carrot, to very small shreds or pieces of the same size by rubbing it on a tool with an outside surface that has holes with cutting edges (a grater).

  • measure :

    to calculate the specific amount of an ingredient required using a measuring tool (like measuring cups or spoons).

  • squeeze :

    to firmly press or twist a food with fingers, hands, or a device to remove its liquid, like shredded potatoes, frozen and thawed spinach, or tofu.

  • whisk :

    to beat or stir ingredients vigorously with a fork or whisk to mix, blend, or incorporate air.

Equipment Checklist

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Ingredients

Creamy Cucumber Gurkensalat Salad

  • 1/2 lemon, cut in wedges (optional, for squeezing on top of the schnitzel)
  • 1 cucumber, grated
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 C cabbage, shredded
  • 3 T plain yogurt **(for DAIRY ALLERGY sub dairy-free/nut-free yogurt)**
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 pinch of black pepper
  • 1 pinch of ground mustard
  • 1/4 tsp white sugar or honey
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced

Food Allergen Substitutions

Creamy Cucumber Gurkensalat Salad

  • Dairy: Substitute plain dairy-free/nut-free yogurt for plain yogurt in Salad.

Instructions

Creamy Cucumber Gurkensalat Salad

1.
grate + squeeze

Grate 1 cucumber and 1 carrot, and combine with 1 cup shredded cabbage. Squeeze out as much of the excess liquid as possible and drain. Place all the shredded vegetables into a large mixing bowl. Add the juice of 1/2 lemon to the bowl of vegetables and set aside.

2.
measure + whisk

Measure 3 tablespoons yogurt, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 pinch of black pepper, 1 pinch of ground mustard, and 1/4 teaspoon sugar and add to a small bowl. Whisk until well combined. Pour the mixture over the vegetables in the large mixing bowl and stir gently to combine. Once the ingredients are combined, taste and adjust the amount of salt and pepper to your taste. Serve alongside the German Tender Bean Schnitzel (see recipe). Guten Appetit! (German for Enjoy your meal!)

Surprise Ingredient: Cucumber!

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Photo by Taras Grebinets/Shutterstock.com

Hi! I’m Cucumber!

"I'm as cool as a cucumber. Actually, I am a cucumber! I have a thick, dark green peel; I am longer than I am wide; and I am a fruit that's often used as a veggie! There are three types of cucumbers: slicing, pickling, and burpless. The slicing and burpless varieties, with or without their peels, are tasty and refreshing sliced, chopped, or minced in salads, sandwiches, salsa, sauces, appetizers, and smoothies or other drinks. The pickling cucumber eventually becomes a pickle (after its pickling spa treatment)!"

History & Etymology

  • Cucumbers are one of the oldest known cultivated vegetables. They have been grown for at least 3,000 years and are believed to have originated in India. 
  • The early Greeks or Romans may have introduced cucumbers to Europe. Records indicate that the French cultivated them in the 9th century and the English in the 14th century. Then Spanish explorers brought cucumbers to the Americas in the 16th century. 
  • Pickled cucumbers, or pickles, may have been produced first by workers building the Great Wall of China or by people in Mesopotamia's Tigris Valley. 
  • A 1630 book called "New England's Plantation" by Francis Higginson, describing plants grown in a garden on Conant's Island in Boston Harbor, mentions "cowcumbers." The cucumber may have been dubbed cowcumber due to thinking at that time that uncooked vegetables were fit only for cows.
  • The word "cucumber" comes from late Middle English, from the Old French "cocombre," from the Latin "cucumis."

Anatomy

  • The cucumber is a creeping vine plant that is part of the Cucurbitaceae or gourd family. Other members are melon, squash, pumpkin, and watermelon. Cucumbers grow on a vine, often in sandy soil. Sandy soil warms faster in the spring, giving cucumbers a more favorable growing environment. 
  • Cucumber length varies. Slicers are 6 to 8 inches, burpless 8 to 10 inches, and picklers are 3 to 5 inches long. 
  • Cucumbers have a mild melon flavor. Slicing cucumbers will have seeds in their flesh, preferably small, soft seeds. Burpless cucumbers are slightly sweeter with a more tender skin and are easier to digest. They may also have no or very few seeds.
  • "Cool as a cucumber" isn't just a catchy phrase. A cucumber's inner temperature can be 10 to 20 degrees cooler than the outside air. This is because it consists mainly of water, which also applies to watermelons, and it takes more energy to heat the water inside the cucumber than the air around it. No wonder these are such summertime favorites! However, we don't say "as cool as a watermelon," so how did this expression become part of our vocabulary? It may have come from a poem in John Gay's Poems, New Song on New Similes from 1732. 

How to Pick, Buy, & Eat

  • Cucumbers are ready to be harvested 50 to 70 days after planting. They are ripe when they are firm and bright or dark green. Slicing cucumbers will be six to eight inches long. Avoid leaving them on the vine too long, or their taste may become bitter and their rind tougher. 
  • At the store, look for firm cucumbers without blemishes, wrinkles, or soft spots. Organic cucumbers are the best choice to avoid pesticide residue, if available. In addition, washing them reduces the amount of residue and pathogens. 
  • If you don't eat your fresh, uncut cucumbers immediately, store them in your refrigerator crisper drawer in a plastic bag for up to three days if unwaxed and up to a week if waxed. 
  • You can eat slicing and burpless cucumbers by themselves, slice or chop them into salads, or blend them into sauces and smoothies. 
  • Pickling cucumbers are pickled whole or sliced in brine, sugar, vinegar, and spices. There are several kinds of pickles, such as sweet, bread-and-butter, gherkin, and kosher dill. 

Nutrition

  • Cucumbers are 96 percent water, have very little fat, and are low in calories. 
  • Cucumbers contain small amounts of the vitamins you need every day and 16 percent of the daily value of vitamin K, which helps with blood clotting.

 

What is Cucumber Salad?

Photo by nblx/Shutterstock.com
  • A cucumber salad consists of sliced or chopped cucumbers with a vinegary or creamy dressing. A vinaigrette made with wine vinegar is also an option. Salting the cucumbers first by putting them in a colander, sprinkling salt on them, and letting them sit for a few minutes helps remove extra moisture and helps keep them crisp, not soggy.
  • Persian cucumbers are the best variety for cucumber salad because of their mild flavor and thin skins you do not have to peel. You can also use English cucumbers. Generally, cucumbers do not need to be peeled, but if a cucumber has a thicker skin, you may want to peel it first.  
  • A refreshing summer version of a cucumber salad includes watermelon. An Asian version uses rice vinegar with added ginger, soy sauce, and sesame seeds. Korean cucumber salad ("oi muchim") is a spicy version, and the German "gurkensalat" (cucumber salad) may have a vinegar-based dressing with dill or onions or a creamy one using sour cream or yogurt.

Let's Learn About Germany!

Photo by Oksana Trautwein/Shutterstock.com
  • The central European country of Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is known as "Deutschland" (DOYCH-lunt) in the German language. It is a federal parliamentary republic with a president, a chancellor (the head of the government), and a legislature.
  • Germany has over 83 million people in an area of 137,847 square miles, a little smaller than the U.S. state of Montana.
  • The capital and largest city in Germany is Berlin, but only since 1990 when East and West Germany reunified. Before that, East and West Germany were divided by the Berlin Wall, built after World War II to keep Eastern citizens from fleeing to the West. The Berlin Wall kept the two sides of Germany separated for 28 years. The wall finally crumbled in November 1989, and you can see segments of the original wall in many places in Germany and other countries.
  • Germany was the first country in the world to adopt Daylight Savings Time. This was done in 1916 during World War I to conserve fuel.
  • Football (soccer) is the most popular sport in Germany, and the German Football Association is the largest single-sport league worldwide. Motorsports are also big in Germany, with three well-known German carmakers heavily involved, BMW, Mercedes, and Porsche.
  • Hamburg, Germany, has the most bridges in the world. The city has more than 2,300 bridges!
  • In Germany, undergraduate university education is free, even to international students. Although a few programs are taught in both English and German, a student would need a firm knowledge of the German language to attend most universities. Germany also has a vocational education system that combines learning with company apprenticeships.
  • Germany is known for its sausages, and some, like "bratwursts" or "brats," are popular in the United States. Over 850 million "currywursts" (curry sausages sold on the street) are eaten in Germany per year! Bread, cheese, and beer are also significant parts of German cuisine.
  • During World War II, Coca-Cola syrup could not come into the country due to a US trade embargo with Nazi Germany. This resulted in the company's German division inventing Fanta soda, what we now know as an orange soda. However, the modern version was developed in Italy in the 1950s. They initially made the early German version with whey (the liquid left after making cheese), apple pomace (the pulp left from making apple juice), and beet sugar. 
  • The Autobahn is a famous access highway in Germany. It is over 8,000 miles long, and many parts have no enforceable speed limit. People travel from around the world to drive fast cars on the Autobahn. It's illegal to run out of gas on this highway!

What's It Like to Be a Kid in Germany?

  • In Germany, often both parents work, and every child under three can go to daycare. Kids can start kindergarten from 3 to 5 years old. 
  • On the first day of first grade, parents give their children a giant cone filled with toys, candy, and school supplies. The school cone is called a "schultüte," celebrating an important rite of passage in their young lives. 
  • Popular sports for youth include football (soccer), handball, and gymnastics. Kids primarily participate in a sport through a sports club, and there are thousands of sports clubs in Germany for almost every sport. 
  • German kids can visit one of the biggest zoos in the world, the Zoologischer Garten Berlin (Berlin Zoological Garden). Although its size isn't the largest, it houses the most animal species worldwide. The zoo opened in 1844 and its aquarium in 1913. 
  • There are several amusement and theme parks in Germany, and if kids are familiar with stories from the Brothers Grimm, families can drive the German Fairy Tale Route (Deutsche Märchenstraße) that runs 370 miles. The route passes through scenic nature parks and charming villages, and several places on the way relate to the fairy tales, such as Little Red Riding Hood's house, Sleeping Beauty's castle, and the Pied Piper's town of Hamelin. Speaking of castles, you can also visit the Neuschwanstein Castle in the Bavarian Alps, which may have inspired Disneyland's Sleeping Beauty Castle.

THYME for a Laugh

What did one pickle say to the other? 

"You mean a great dill to me."

The Yolk's On You

What’s green and very noisy? 

A cucumber playing a drum!

The Yolk's On You

"Doctor, doctor, I’ve got carrots growing out of my ears! How did that happen?"

"I don’t know, I planted cucumbers there!"

The Yolk's On You

Why was the cucumber mad? 

Because it was in a pickle!

Lettuce Joke Around

How does a cucumber become a pickle? 

It goes through a jarring experience!

That's Berry Funny

What do you call a pickle lullaby? 

A cucumber slumber number.

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