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Sweet-and-Sour Cucumber Salad

We substituted shallots for the onion in this recipe because we had them on hand and loved the look of the purple color against the green of the cucumber.

Uborka salata, Hungarian Jewish sweet-and-sour cucumber salad, actually benefits from a long stay in the fridge. That’s why it is such a perfect choice for Seudah Shlishit, the third Shabbat meal.

My father was a genius at making this dish. I still remember how he sliced the cucumbers gossamer thin and soaked them in a perfectly balanced marinade. I’m sad to say that I never got his original recipe, but this recipe evokes that flavor.

Serves 6

5 medium-size cucumbers, sliced into thin rounds
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 small onion, sliced into thin rounds
1/3 cup distilled white vinegar
1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
½ teaspoon sweet Hungarian paprika (optional)
1/8 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
Table salt to taste

1) Place cucumber slices in a colander and sprinkle with kosher salt. Leave them to sweat for at least 30 minutes.

2) Squeeze cucumbers to remove liquid and rinse with fresh water. Drain and squeeze gain, then place cucumbers in a bnowl along with onion slices, freshly cracked black pepper, and salt to taste. In a separate bowl, combine vinegar, water, sugar, paprika and pepper and pour over the cucumber and onion slices. Adjust flavors adding salt sugar and pepper to taste. Refrigerate, covered, until you are ready to serve.

3) Keeps for up to 10 days in a closed container in the refrigerator. Does not freeze well.

Reprinted from “Jewish Soul Food” by Carol Ungar (Brandeis University Press). Carol Ungar is a freelance writer who lives in Israel. Her website is


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