Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Green Spinach & Cucumber Salad

My grandma came up with this 4 ingredient* salad when I was a teenager, and it quickly became one of my favorites, even though I don't usually like spinach very much. The first time I made it for The Pit, I used the same recipe she provided, which typically made enough for a small dinner party's worth of people. As I recall, I managed to snag a portion, and then he demolished the rest of the bowl by himself. So it's good, is what I'm trying to say here. Around our house, it's usually just referred to as the Green Salad, for obvious reasons:

What you'll need for a large bowl of salad (about 6-8 small portions, or 4 large ones):
  • 1 (9 oz) bag baby spinach
  • 2-3 small cucumbers
  • 3-4 stalks green onions
  • 1/4 bunch fresh dill
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 heaping tablespoon sour cream
  • 1-2 heaping tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2-3 pinches salt
  • 1 pinch sugar
1) Chiffonade the spinach and add to a large mixing bowl. This basically means stack, roll, and then cut the spinach into thin strips, but the link shows how it's done. It does take a while longer than simple chopping, but the one time I tried making the salad by just chopping the spinach finely, the finished product somehow didn't taste quite right. Of course, maybe this was due to my using really large regular spinach leaves from which I had failed to fully remove all the dirt and sand, but regardless, I haven't repeated the experiment since. I know, what sort of scientist changes two variables at once?**

2) Finely chop the cucumbers and add them to the mixing bowl. You can use any cuke you like, but I prefer what are called Persian cucumbers in California, and are referred to as mini cucumbers here in DC. They don't need to be peeled, have a great flavor, and are virtually seedless, giving them a nice crispy texture all over.

3) Finely chop the green onion stalks and dill, and add to the other veggies in the mixing bowl. Admire all the pretty pretty green.

4) Mix the veggies together and add the dressing. I usually add the sour cream and one tablespoon of mayo, then mix together with the lemon juice, salt, and sugar. Then I taste, realize once again that more mayo = better dressing, and add another tablespoon of mayo. If you're dieting or just one of those crazy people that hates mayo, I suppose one tablespoon will do.

* Not counting the dressing, because then it becomes a 9 ingredient salad, and that somehow sounds way more complicated.
** The unemployed kind. Bada bing!


  1. Please FedEx me one (1) tub of that, post haste. Thank you.

  2. this looks like it might be quite tasty. Green is a pretty excellent color.

  3. Sour Cream? In a Yana dish? Who would have thought?? Sounds very refreshing :)