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Delicious, nutritious homemade cucumber salsa recipe!

Updated on September 14, 2015

The Dilemma and the Solution

Every summer, my family and I get invited to various cookouts, reunions, potlucks, etc. And we used to struggle with what to take. Would someone there be lactose intolerant? Diabetic? Should our dish be gluten-free? Vegan friendly? One weekend we went to a BBQ and found a bowl of green....stuff. After hemming and hawing and daring each other to try it, I finally took one of the provided tortilla chips and tried it. WOW. It was delicious! Light, refreshing and wonderful. I was intrigued to find out that this dish was actually cucumber salsa. Despite the fact that I love salsa, I typically steer clear of it since the acidity of the tomatoes tends to give me heartburn. I waited, and waited and waited, but the heartburn never came. My wife tried it and fell in love with it almost as fast as she fell in love with me. We decided then and there that cucumber salsa would be our go-to dish to take to any function. It is a nice detour from the baked beans, coleslaw and potato salad. Over the years we have tweaked the original recipe, suited it for our tastes and every year it gets better and better. We now show up to gathering with the recipe written on 3 x 5 cards to hand out as, inevitably, several people as for it.

Creation time for Cucumber Salsa

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 3 hours
Ready in: 3 hours 15 min
Yields: Makes enough to serve 6-8 people

Ingredients you will need

  • 4 Cucumbers
  • pinch Pepper
  • 2 Rotel or Diced Tomatoes, one drained, one not
  • 1/4 cup White Vinegar
  • Tablespoon Sugar
  • 1 1/2 pack Ranch Dip (Dip not dressing)

Step by step instructions

  1. The first step in any food preparation should be to WASH YOUR HANDS! Yes, that means you! I'll wait............
  2. Ok, now that you have successfully scrubbed any germs off your hands, grab your cucumbers. You should have 4 good sized cucumbers to act as the base of your salsa. Make sure they are washed and dried. You will now need a cutting board and a knife.
  3. CAREFULLY peel and cut your cucumbers into slices. I prefer to do them one at a time, as 4 sliced cucumbers takes up a lot of space. Once sliced, you can begin to dice them to the size of your preference. Larger pieces for chunkier salsa, smaller for less chunky salsa. I have found that a manual food chopper is invaluable and cuts your prep time in about a 1/3. I have also tried a blender - great for smoothies, not so much for salsa...I would recommend avoiding them.
  4. After the cucumbers have been diced, add them to a large mixing bowl. I put mine into a plastic bowl that will also act as a storage container. By not having to transfer from a mixing bowl to a tupperware style bowl saves a step and makes less dirty dishes (hooray!).
  5. At this point, you are ready to add your Rotel (or diced tomatoes). I drain mine prior to adding them in order to keep the salsa from being to soupy. Remember, cucumbers are 95% water so there will already be quite a bit of liquid in the salsa. Once drained, pour the contents of the can into the bowl with the cucumbers and mix.
  6. Once thoroughly mixed, I will drain the cucumber/tomato concoction again prior to adding the remaining ingredients (sugar, vinegar, pepper and ranch dip). If you don't do this and you strain it again after adding the rest of the items, you will strain away some of the flavor as well.
  7. It is time to add the remaining ingredients. Add them all into the bowl, stirring while adding. Once you feel the salsa is sufficiently mixed, give it a try. Everyone has different taste preferences, perhaps you would like yours a little saltier or a little sweeter. Remember, the salsa is going to be room temperature at this point. It seems to be the consensus amongst my friends and family that the salsa is 100x better when it has been chilled for 3-4 hours. Again though, personal preference.
  8. Once I have the recipe tasting just how I like it, I cover it and put it in the fridge. I let it sit for 3-4 hours to make sure it is chilled all the way through. During this time (or right before serving if I forgot), I strain it one more time if there appears to be too much liquid in the salsa.
  9. The last step is to present the masterpiece and stand back and accept the Congrats!, Attaboys and Wow You Are Amazing! accolades from all who taste it. As you bask in your glory, don't forget to get some for yourself as it will soon be gone!
All the ingredients and tools you will need.
All the ingredients and tools you will need.
Peeled and ready to slice.
Peeled and ready to slice.
Sliced and ready to dice.
Sliced and ready to dice.
Add it to the mixing/serving bowl.
Add it to the mixing/serving bowl.
Drain additional water in this step.
Drain additional water in this step.
Next you will need your diced tomatoes.
Next you will need your diced tomatoes.
Drain one can, leave one can undrained.
Drain one can, leave one can undrained.
Add to the cucumbers.
Add to the cucumbers.
Stir thoroughly.
Stir thoroughly.
Time to add the remaining ingredients.
Time to add the remaining ingredients.
Stir well. drain once more.
Stir well. drain once more.
The finished product!  A few hours in the fridge and it is ready to serve!
The finished product! A few hours in the fridge and it is ready to serve!

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