Ina Garten's Brilliant Tip For Cucumber Salad

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Nothing screams summer like a cucumber salad, and who better to give us the ultimate easy, breezy, creamy, but crunchy cucumber dish that is going to be your new go-to for backyard parties or an elegant dinner-for-two than the Barefoot Contessa? Per The Kitchn, Ina Garten shared this recipe with the world back in 2008 in her "Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics" cookbook. But she likes this dish so much, according to CheatSheet, that Garten also made it on her Food Network show and revealed a brilliant tip to ensure this salad really holds up. 

So, what do we mean when we say this cucumber salad holds up? Well, generally speaking, the vegetables we use to create salads are packed full of water, and as the blog Well Preserved explains, water rich vegetables beget watery salads — and frankly, no one wants to eat that. Cucumbers are probably the top offender when it comes to water vegetables because they are a whopping 95% water, according to Healthline. Therefore, when you try to coat a water rich vegetable with a creamy salad dressing, you generally wind up with a watery mess with the dressing sliding off. However, Garten's trick solves this conundrum. 

Salt your cucumbers, strain the yogurt

Per CheatSheet, Ina Garten revealed that, when she makes her cucumber salad, she salts her cucumbers, which pulls out quite a bit of that excess water. Garten said, "Put the cucumber in a colander set over a bowl in the refrigerator and then I'm going to salt it. And what it's going to do is it's going to make a much thicker salad because it's going to take some of the liquid out of the cucumber." Additionally, Garten tosses in sliced onions for this dish and salts them, as well, to further reduce the salad's water content. Garten shared, "[Y]ou wouldn't believe how much liquid collects in the bottom of the bowl." But she does not stop there. She also rolls them up in a paper towel to ensure they are as dry as can be.

Garten then moves to the yogurt and drains it for four hours to eliminate the water content before mixing it with sour cream, dill, and black pepper. The Kitchn shares that the result is creamy perfection when all the ingredients are chilled and then mixed together. This cucumber salad definitely has our taste buds buzzing — and it sounds like it is worth adding to your summer recipe repertoire!