Cucumber Salad with Sour Cream (Krastavci s vrhnjem)

This is one of those dishes I make maybe once a week or so during the summer when cucumbers are at their peak. If you can, try to get them at your local farmers market–or even better from someone with a garden–because there really isn’t anything better than the taste and smell of a fresh, crisp cucumber. You can take the skin off if you think it’ll be too bitter, but I never do this. Why? Well, there’s a lot of nutrients in the skin. In fact, most–if not all–of the benefits are there! Vitamin K, dietary fiber, beta-carotene, and did I mention its low in calories, which is a perfect off-set to the sour cream.

Note: If in Belgium or France, the best substitute I’ve found for sour cream is crème d’Isigny, a type of crème fraîche that has a more subtle taste than the average crème fraîche I’ve tasted here in Brussels. For this recipe, its ok, but I really never use crème fraîche in Croatian recipes because the taste is off and really ruins the flavour of the dish. Instead, I make my bi-monthly pilgrimage to the local Polish store to buy smetana, their version of sour cream that tastes identical to the Croatian (vrhnje).

  • 1 long cucumber, sliced
  • 2-3 tablespoons of sour cream
  • salt

Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl. Taste, and add more salt, if necessary. Place in the fridge until ready to serve. In fact, this is best served cold, so if those cucumbers are freshly picked from the garden, place the prepared dish in the fridge for 2o or 30 minutes. This will also help extract the juices of the cucumber a bit, to cut the sour cream.



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