Cool Cucumbers with Sour Cream & Mint with a Yogurt Variation

I’m always looking for ways to use the endless supply of cucumbers growing in my garden. This recipe is just right on a hot summer day. It combines slices of cucumbers and white onions with a sour cream dressing. I added in just a little dried dill and fresh mint from my garden. And finally, a way to use my garden mint. For a variation, I made the recipe using non-fat plain yogurt for a healthy alternative.

Growing Mint in Louisiana Garden

Mint grows very well in a Louisiana garden; I have both peppermint and spearmint. In fact, mint is sort of like a weed and grows without any attention. The plants spread along runners and can quickly overtake a garden bed and everything in its way. On the positive side, mint grows best in a shady area of the garden–and I have several shady gardens. It is nice to step outside and pick a few aromatic leaves to add to a half-gallon of ice tea.

I don’t run across many recipes which use mint as an ingredient — cucumbers and sour cream is a good one and the mint adds a surprising and refreshing flavor. This is some of the spearmint growing in my garden.

Cucumbers

Cucumbers also grow well in Louisiana. I planted these in early April and the began to get ripe cucumbers in May. (The cucumbers are the plants in the foreground of this photo.) I always get carried away and purchase too many seedling plants — but I want to make sure I have some to harvest. Most of these cucumbers became pickles. And we pick a few every night for salads.

Recipe Ingredients

This recipe is very easy to make. Here are the ingredients for “Cool Cucumbers with Sour Cream & Mint.” I like to use smaller cucumbers, if possible, in this salad. And an onion? I like to add a small, sweet white onion. Why? Well, I love onions and this adds a flavorful contrast to the cucumbers.

To make the recipe, slice the cucumbers and onion. A mandoline slicer makes this task much easier and the cucumbers come out evenly sliced. I especially like the hand holder on the slicer — it prevents your fingers from getting nicked, too. How many times has that happened?

Should you peel the cucumbers? Cucumbers purchased at a grocery store are sometimes waxed for longer preservation. These should definitely be pared (or peeled). And for cucumbers from a garden or farmer’s market, peeling them is optional. Towards the end of the season when the cucumbers are larger with many seeds, I prefer to peel them and hollow out the seeds. I find that paring also helps remove the bitter taste which is sometimes found with cucumbers late in the season which were subjected to dry growing conditions.

Yogurt Variation

I made a tasty variation to this salad using non-fat plain yogurt replacing the sour cream. I added a little olive oil to the dressing. It makes a very healthy and low-fat alternative and tasted just as good. Couldn’t tell the difference.

Here’s “Cool Cucumbers with Sour Cream & Mint.” This is a flavorful way to use cucumbers. In the summer months, when cucumbers are easily found in farmers markets and grocery stores, its a good time to use fresh vegetables.

Cool Cucumbers with Sour Cream & Mint with a Yogurt Variation

  • Servings: 4 servings
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
Ingredients:

  • 2 medium cucumbers (12 oz or 2 cups peeled and sliced)
  • 1 small sweet, white onion
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or plain non-fat yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil (omit if using sour cream)
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp fresh mint leaves, finely torn, plus more for garnish
  • 1 tsp dried dill seeds
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Method and Steps:

  1. Wash the cucumbers and remove any rough nubs. Cut off about 1/4 inch from each end and discard., If desired, pare skin from cucumbers and hollow out removing seeds.
  2. Using mandoline slicer, slice cucumber into thin slices. Place in medium size bowl. Set aside.
  3. Peel onion, slice thinly using mandoline slicer, separate into individual rings and add to cucumbers, alternating layers.
  4. In small bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients–sour cream, dill, finely minced mint and salt. (If using non-fat plain yogurt, add olive oil.)
  5. Pour dressing over cucumber and onion slices, carefully toss to combine.
  6. Cover with lid or plastic wrap, place in refrigerator and chill for several hours.
  7. Prior to serving, remove from refrigerator and garnish with fresh mint.

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