After all the decadence over the weekend, I thought I’d balance things out a bit for my #DoodlewashDinner offering tonight and bring some cucumber salad. This is one of those foods that I absolutely love today, but would have never touched when I was a kid. I really didn’t like cucumber slices that hadn’t yet been made into pickles. A cucumber salad has pretty much the same ingredients you might use to make pickles, without the laborious prepping and wait. So, in a sense, it’s really just a plate of impatient pickles and now it’s become my perfect summer treat!

I do remember that the version of cucumber salad I had growing up had sugar in it, which I found gross. I also hated bread and butter pickles because I didn’t see the need to take something beautifully savory and salty and make it taste like a dessert. My dad’s side of the family is from the south and nearly everything was made sweet. Tea was transformed into “sweet tea” which was often concocted so syrupy it actually made my face hurt. This is probably not too surprising as Americans consume ridiculously more sugar than any other country in the world. I’ve completely gone on a tangent here, suffice it to say, I don’t want sugar on my vegetables.

And there’s really not much to tell about this little dish. It’s just one of those simple little things in life that I now love. Also, it’s one of the foods Philippe now makes regularly during the warmer months and it always reminds me of when he first came to stay from Paris. We were still figuring out how to make it all work and stay together, so nothing in our life was simple back then. Except that little bit of cucumber salad. Simple, to be sure, but filled with the cool hope that everything would soon work out just fine. And, of course, everything did.

You’re all invited to a Doodlewash Dinner Party during the month of May! Just tag your food or drink image #doodlewashdinner and I’ll feature you and your culinary creations in a delicious Doodlewash Gallery at the end of the month! 

About the Doodlewash

M. Graham watercolors: Permanent Pale Green, Gamboge, Azo Orange, Pyrrol Red, Dioxazine Purple, Ultramarine Blue, Sap Green and Neutral Tint. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon black ink in a 5″ x 8″ 140 lb. (300 gsm) Pentalic Aqua Journal

Posted by:Charlie O'Shields (doodlewash)

Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world!

52 replies on “A Simple Cucumber Salad

  1. Great composition with the angular bowl against the circular plate. Do you use traditional American cucumbers or hothouse/Canadian/English ones? When I first emigrated to America, I just about gagged trying to eat some American cucumber. Thankfully I have been able to buy the European ones my palate is used to. I will say that tomatoes here are much tastier than most store bought tomatoes in the UK. A tomato salad is one of my favourite things.

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  2. thats so lovely Charlie! I prefer regular dill pickles not the sugared up ones. are these cucumbers the sweet and tasty little Lebanese ones? we get them here and it turns eating greens into delight!!

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  3. I really wish you live close by because I’d sneak cukes off to you. I’m not a fan of them but hubby insists on growing them to make pickles or his dad’s cukes and sour cream. 😜 I have to say though that you doodlewashed that so beautifully, I’m tempted to eat it. ❤️

    Are your dishes and silverware really that elegant? We usually eat on Corelle dishes…not fancy in the least. 😆

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    1. Thanks Teresa!! 😃💕 I wish we lived close by too!! I love cukes so much! Plus, we could sketch together and be silly so that’s an added bonus! Lol And these aren’t our dishes…I was working from references and playing with color. Lol I can’t urban sketch food…it doesn’t last long enough. 😊🐷

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  4. Aw, well that’s a sweet thing to be wrapped up in a cucumber salad. A wonderful doodlewash, though forgive my not going wild over the dish itself😉 Perhaps I should try this sugared kind to see if I fare any better (though it doesn’t sound particularly pleasant!)

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  5. I do love a cucumber salad – mine usually has a bit of seasoned rice vinegar, a touch of soy sauce and sesame oil, topped with sesame seeds. I usually slice my cucumber very thin. So simple and yummy! What a cheery doodlewash, perfect for the summer!

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  6. What an enticing display, Charlie, so beautifully doodled! You’ve handled the cucumber very well and I love that vibrant tomato. I, too, couldn’t eat cucumber as a youngster (it had deleterious effects on my stomach), except for, strangely enough, the Polish large dill pickle, which I still love today ‘tho limit my intake. These days I really like those baby dill cornichons…great for snacking with a bit of cheese and salty crackers.

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  7. A great salad pleaser, when I have grown myself I often find them to be bitter, I have heard that this is down to weather the cucumber was male or female?? How true I do not know, maybe it was just due to the variety I grew? I can honestly say, never ever would I wish for sugar on my salad, I do remember when I was young, staying at my nanas, we had salad, and I grabbed the salt, sprinkled a little, then grabbed a big bite, yikes and yuk, yuk, yuk… was sugar in the bowl, not the salt I had thought. That’s as close as I have, and will be to sugar on savoury. Great doodlewash Charlie.

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    1. Lovely sketch of one of my favorite vegetables! Have you tried lemon cucumbers? They are the best and are easy to grow. I recommend them!!!

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  8. You do such a great job of capturing silver, shadows, chrome, glass, and reflections – the hallmarks of a really talented artist. Your cukes look good enough to eat –😀
    I like cukes even more simply prepared – those tiny cukes that I wash and munch out of hand. No fork necessary.
    As for over preparing food – I like fruit without any dressing or sauce, not even salt or pepper, and most veggies simply roasted, baked, or steamed – or raw. Sometimes I’ll saute, along with shrimp or chicken. Don’t much love to cook and I prefer food that’s close to the way it came from the tree, vine, or the ground.
    But stay away from my sweet tea, please.
    And dessert – now that’s another story.

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  9. Having just come from the south, I agree about the sweetness…sweet potato salad? Yuck. The same with cucumbers…a little vinegar is perfect! Beautiful presentation for the salad too! (K)

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