Dad’s Famous Cucumber and Onion Salad by Ray Knight watch the video

Dad’s Famous Cucumber and Onion Salad by Ray Knight watch the video

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As a child growing up in Rahway, New Jersey, nothing quite compared to the excitement that summer brought each year. The arrival of warmer weather meant endless days spent outdoors, whether it was swimming in the pool, playing in the park, fishing in the river, or simply sleeping on the porch on a hot and humid night. Amidst all these memories, what truly stood out in my memory were the grand family picnics tradition on Memorial Day, the 4th of July, and Labor Day. With our spacious yard, my mom always took on the role of the gracious hostess, while everyone contributed by bringing delicious food and comfortable lawn chairs. Those moments of fun and laughter remain etched in my heart.

The roots of our family tree run deep, my mother came from a clan of 8 girls and 1 boy, while my father was part of a family with 3 boys and 1 girl. The interconnectedness didn't stop there, as many of their siblings married into large families, expanding our network even further. The sheer number of aunts, uncles, and cousins in our immediate family alone easily exceeded 50, not to mention the extended family, friends, and neighbors who were always close by. The highlight of our summers was undoubtedly the family picnics, which attracted a whopping crowd of 100 or more relatives and friends.

My mother made two large bowls of Potato Salad, a favorite among friends and family for years, while my father, who never cooked a lick, surprised us all with his fresh cucumber and onion salad made from cucumbers grown right in our backyard at 1276 Broadway. Enjoy the flavors of tradition with my Dad’s Famous Cucumber and Onion Salad.

EQUIPMENT: French chef's knife or mandolin food cutter (slicing or waffle cutting cone blade), cutting board, and salad bowl.

PREPARATION TIME: 10 Minutes - Makes 7 to 8 servings

  • ·       2 large cucumbers, washed scored but not peeled, cut into ¼-inch-thick slices
  • ·       1 medium white onion, cut into ¼-inch-thick slices, or julienned #2 cutting cone blade
  • ·       ½ red onion, cut into ¼-inch-thick slices, or julienned #2 cutting cone blade
  • ·       1 teaspoon sugar
  • ·       ½ cup distilled white vinegar
  • ·       1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ·       ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ·       1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley


Combine all the ingredients except pepper and parsley in a mixing bowl and chill for at least an hour before serving. This will ensure that your salad is perfectly chilled and ready to enjoy.

To serve, simply drain off the liquid from the mixture and reserve. Arrange the cucumber and onion slices on individual salad plates, then drizzle each serving with 1 tablespoon of the reserved liquid. Garnish with freshly ground pepper and a sprinkle of parsley for an extra burst of flavor. Enjoy this light salad as a side or a healthy snack!