Published July 1, 1997.
No matter how you dress them, a preliminary salting and draining of sliced cucumbers maximizes their crunchy texture.
More often than not, by the time you eat a cucumber salad, the cucumbers have gone soft and watery, losing their appealing crunch and diluting the dressing to near tastelessness.
The primary goal of our testing was simple: Maximize the crunch.
The standard recommendation for ridding watery vegetable such as cucumbers of unwanted moisture is to salt them, as the salt draws water out of the vegetable's cells. We found that weighting the salted cucumbers forced out even more water. The benefits of better-drained cucumbers became obvious once we mixed them with dressing. All of our tasters preferred the salad made with the weighted cucumbers for their superior crunch and less diluted dressing. As for how long to drain the weighted cucumbers, we found that one to three hours worked best. Even at 12 hours, the cucumbers gave up no more water than they had after three hours.list of recipes