Chef Ryan

Cajun Chef Ryan

Feeling & sharing a world of cooking ~ more than your average Cajun


“New Pickle” Cucumber Salad

September 22nd, 2009 · 12 Comments

"New Pickle" Cucumber Salad image

Sometime between the summer of 1974 or 1976, it became a turning point for me as I discovered the love of cooking through public television, specifically with two major influences from watching “The French Chef” cooking show with Julia Child, in addition, “The Frugal Gourmet” cooking show with Jeff Smith. Most of you already know about my omelets story and the mark that Julia Child made in my life and how she started me on the road to cooking at home when I was a teenager.  As well, Jeff Smith and his show, which preceded hers every weekday morning on PBS, also influenced me in an extraordinary way. (Note: Click on image for a larger view.)

At the time, Jeff Smith was rather new to the television scene and was selling a small spiral bound cookbook for just a few dollars from his television station located in Seattle, Washington. I secured a copy by sending in a letter with the money asking about how I should get started in a career within the culinary world. A few weeks later, the book arrived in a small manila envelope, but no reply to my request. I was a little upset that he did not respond to my inquiry, but the small cookbook was great. I have and continue to prepare many items from the book, but one that has stood out over all these years is a simple cucumber salad that Jeff included on page 24 and he noted that its origins are from Israel. Jeff also mentions that this salad has a flavor very close to what New York Jews call a “new pickle.” We love it, and with some fresh garden grown cucumbers given to us over the weekend, I just had to make this salad once again, and share it with you today.

4 Large Cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced
1 Medium Onion, thinly sliced or julienne
¾ Cup Sugar
½ Cup Water
1 Cup White vinegar
½ Tbsp Dry dill weed
Preparation Steps
1. Combine the peeled and thinly sliced cucumber and the thinly sliced onions in a large bowl.
2. In a small saucepan combine the sugar, water, white vinegar and dry dill weed and bring to boil stirring to dissolve the sugar.
3. Pour the liquid over the cucumbers and onions, stir well and chill for 4 to 6 hours.

Tags: Jeff Smith · Julia Child · Recipes · Salads

12 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Heidi from Savory Tv // Sep 22, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    Excellent! I had a gardening failure this year, but pick some up at the farmers market and try this one.

  • 2 Jessie // Sep 22, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    sounds great, I need to try this recipe out

  • 3 Ryan Boudreaux // Sep 22, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    This is so quick and easy to prepare and oh soo good! Thanks!

  • 4 redkathy // Sep 22, 2009 at 7:12 pm

    The French Chef, The Frugal Gourmet… Did you forgot The Galloping Gourmet?[wink wink]
    I remember this recipe very well. Nice post, great memories, thanks!

  • 5 thepinkpeppercorn // Sep 22, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    I love it! So fresh!

  • 6 lululu // Sep 23, 2009 at 12:53 am

    i love your story with julia child and jeff smith, same as your refreshing salad!
    just adore all kind of tapas-sized cold dish!

  • 7 Cajun Chef Ryan // Sep 23, 2009 at 8:53 am

    Ah yes, “The Galloping Gourmet” Mr. Graham Kerr, how could I leave him out? Actually, I do remember his show, but for some reason I have no particular or specific memories of his episodes, but I did watch it often.

  • 8 giao {kiss my spatula} // Sep 23, 2009 at 10:45 am

    i used to LOVE watching jeff smith! why did they ever take him off the air?! your cucumber salad is very similar to one i make all the time, though mine has an asian twist with the use of rice wine vinegar and sesame oil. will be trying out your version!

  • 9 Karine // Sep 23, 2009 at 9:50 pm

    This salad sounds delicious! Great way to use cucumbers 🙂

    Thanks for sharing!

  • 10 Olive // Sep 24, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    hi, chef ryan 🙂

    my mom used to make this kind of salad sans the dill weed and with some salt. I don’t eat it though because I don’t like the taste of raw vinegar but my sisters raved about it.

  • 11 Teanna // Sep 28, 2009 at 11:36 pm

    I’m sorry he didn’t respond, but that cookbook sounds fantastic! I’ve never heard of new pickles, but I’ll have to try it!

  • 12 Beth McDougall // Oct 12, 2009 at 8:33 pm

    This is also my fave recipe of Jeff Smith’s. My mom was a big fan of his and she actually managed to have him speak to the Girl Scouts of Illinois annual Council meeting back in the 80’s. Unfortunately he had some bad press in the late eighties or nineties concerning his personal life. I think he passed away? He was a great cook.