Herby Raita

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Tips from the Test Kitchen

What Type of Cucumber Should I Use?

We use American cucumbers, whose seed is called Americana Slicing Hybrid and are often simply labeled “cucumber” at grocery stores. These cucumbers have thicker skin than other varieties. They have large seeds that, while edible, are typically scooped out along with the pulp to remove excess moisture in salads, sandwiches and even soups.

Can I Use Other Fresh Herbs?

Absolutely! Along with parsley and mint, you can use any combination of fresh herbs like dill or chives.

Can I Make Cucumber-Yogurt Salad Ahead?

No, we don’t recommend making the cucumber-yogurt salad ahead of time. The moisture from the cucumbers will continue to release and cause the salad to become too watery. It’s best to serve the salad the day you make it. You can make the yogurt mixture ahead and refrigerate it in an airtight container for up to one day.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do You Need to Peel Cucumbers for Salads?

Yes, if you’re using American cucumbers it’s a good idea to peel their tougher skin which are also often coated in wax to prolong their shelf life. There’s no need to peel thin-skinned varieties of cucumbers, such as English or Persian cucumbers.

How Do You Keep Cucumbers from Getting Soggy in Salads?

To prevent cucumbers from getting too soggy, you can lightly salt them to remove excess moisture. For this recipe, we sprinkle the sliced cucumbers with salt in a bowl for at least 20 minutes. The salt draws out moisture and releases excess water from the cucumbers, keeping them crisp. The salt also helps season the cucumbers lightly before adding the yogurt mixture. We also scoop out the seeds and pulp, which can be too watery for salads.

Additional reporting by Jan Valdez

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