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Last week’s Throwback Thursday Cookbook Review featured Northwest Bounty from 1988. It’s a lovely book, particularly for a guy like me who grew up in Oregon. Reading the book now is to have refreshed memories of the salmon and strawberries that were so central to my life.

Ah, salmon. We had it alder smoked year round. When I moved to the East and tried “smoked salmon” I was, and remained, totally confused. Alder is better. Different and much better.

Whether your salmon is alder altered or broiled or barbecued, this Cucumber Sauce is a delight. Happily, the sauce has life beyond salmon. Atop sliced tomatoes, it creates a lovely, lively salad.

The flavor of cucumber is deceptive. It’s not overpowering, yet it can slide in and rather prominently affect any dish it is a part of. Normally we dice or puree the cucumber to make it integral to the final dish. We get that cucumber in our mouth.

There are two exceptions to that rule. One is home-made cucumber vodka, which is the component for a perfect green martini:

https://cookingbythebook.com//dedicated-drinkers-diary/spring-green-cucumber-martini/

And the second exception is this sauce recipe. A water, vinegar, sugar and salt combination is put in the fridge with some cucumber slices. After an hour, or more, the cucumber is removed and the liquid is “thickened” by adding sour cream. You don’t eat cucumber but you are rewarded with its very delicate yet penetrating flavor.

The teaspoon of dill here is added atop the sauce for a little flavor and lots of color. If you want more flavor, then increase the dill and stir it into the sauce.


Cucumber Sauce

Yield: serves 8 for adornment of salmon

Ingredients:

  • 1 English or burpless cucumber, peeled and cut in half
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon fresh dill [or more!]

Preparation:

Remove seeds from cucumber, and cut across into thin slices. In a mixing bowl, combine water, salt, sugar, and vinegar. When sugar and salt are dissolved, add cucumber. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving. When ready to serve, drain cucumber and fold into sour cream. Sprinkle with fresh dill.

Source: Northwest Bounty by Schuyler Ingle and Sharon Kramis [Simon and Schuster, 1988]

Photo Information: Canon T2i, EFS 60mm Macro Lens, F/4.0 for 1/30th second at ISO‑200