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Marinated Sliced Cucumber Salad

Marinated Sliced Cucumber Salad
T. Susan Chang for NPR

Yes, well, technically these are slices rather than shreds, but it's the same basic idea. When I was a teenager, my stepfamily regularly made a version of this salad in the summer. It's cool, refreshing and dead easy -- but do be careful if you use a mandoline slicer. I vividly remember the mishap incurred by my stepsister Alysia on one cucumber salad occasion, not to mention the morbid finger humor that followed.

Makes 4 servings

1/2 cup white wine vinegar

1/2 cup distilled white vinegar

6 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 teaspoon kosher salt (or 1/2 teaspoon regular salt)

1/2 cup water

1 long or 2 short cucumbers (seedless if possible)

6 to 8 leafy dill sprigs

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the marinade, combine the vinegars, sugar, salt and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. When it's fully dissolved, simmer for 5 to 10 minutes until the mixture becomes somewhat syrupy. Let cool to room temperature.

While the marinade is cooling, finely slice the cucumbers into rounds about 1/16-inch thick. You can use a mandoline or V-slicer (an angled blade set in a plastic frame; one common one is sold by Benriner), or, if you're patient, you can just slice them with a knife. Pick the leaves from the dill sprigs, discarding the stems, and finely chop.

Place the cucumbers, dill and marinade in a heavy-duty re-sealable plastic bag and refrigerate for at least an hour, preferably 4 or more. With a slotted spoon, lift the cucumbers into a serving bowl and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

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