Bright and beautiful summer cucumber salad

Reader Linda Lenhardt said she seldom has leftovers with this quick and tasty salad.

Food forum

We have shared quite a few salads since reviving the Forum earlier this year.

First there was the springtime panzanella salad with asparagus and sugar snap peas, then a rainbow pasta salad that serves as a zesty canvas for all your favorite veggies, cheeses and meats. We recently featured a hearty Southwest salad with black beans, avocado, tortilla chips and my favorite: pickled jalapeños.

And now, we have a go-to recipe for a bright, beautiful summer salad, thanks to reader Linda Lenhardt.

“I love making this salad, and I seldom have many leftovers,” Linda wrote. “I found this recipe at least 20 years ago in a newspaper, and I have adapted it to my taste.”

This salad sounds delicious as is, but you too can adapt it to your preferred taste. Don’t like cilantro? Swap it out for parsley, dill, basil or a combination of your favorite herbs. Have a red or green bell pepper? Use that instead of yellow. Prefer a different kind of oil? Go for it! I personally love quick-pickled red onions, so I would let that sit in red wine vinegar, salt and sumac for an extra tangy kick before tossing into the salad.

Cucumber Vegetable Salad with Cilantro and Red Onion

1 large seedless English cucumber, thinly sliced

½ teaspoon salt

1 yellow bell pepper, cut into short, thin strips

3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into rounds

2 cups (12 ounces) cherry tomatoes, halved and salted

½ medium red onion, cut into thin slivers

½ cup chopped fresh cilantro

¼ cup vegetable oil

¼ cup rice wine vinegar

Ground black pepper, to taste

Toss cucumber slices with salt in a colander; let stand in the sink or over a bowl until juice has drained, 30 to 45 minutes. Pat cucumbers dry with paper towels and turn into a large bowl. Add remaining veggies, cilantro and oil; toss to coat. Add vinegar and pepper; toss again.

Salad can be covered and refrigerated several hours. Adjust seasonings (salt, pepper, vinegar) before serving.

Bonus recipe! Well, bonus-ish

I am reprinting a previous recipe here. These raisin drop cookies have received rave reviews since their Forum debut in March, but the reason I am printing it once more is that I forgot to list a teaspoon of vanilla in the ingredients. Thank you to Jackie Noble, the reader who originally submitted the recipe and kindly pointed out this oversight.

Marie Olson’s Raisin Drop Cookies

2 cups raisins

1 cup water

4 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon cloves

¼ teaspoon allspice

1½ teaspoons cinnamon

2 cups sugar

1 cup shortening

3 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a sheet pan (or use parchment paper.) Boil the raisins and water together for five minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.

Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices. In a separate bowl, cream together the sugar and shortening, then beat in eggs. Mix in raisins and vanilla. Fold in flour mixture. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto prepared sheet pan. Bake for 8 minutes or until firm and golden.

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