Many European countries have a tradition of dressing cucumbers with sour cream, sugar and vinegar. This makes a delicious tart and sweet side dish or relish that complements many meals. Almost identical recipes originate from countries as disparate as Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Sweden, Denmark and Ireland. Substitute yogurt for the sour cream and you extend your reach to Greece, the Mediterranean and India and related cuisines. There's no reason you can't add this easy and delicious combination to your own culinary repertoire.
Combine sugar, sour cream and vinegar in a bowl. Add garlic or dill if you are using either or both. Let dressing sit while you prepare the vegetables.
Use a fork to make pretty cucumber slices. Drag the points of the tines lengthwise down the sides of the cucumber. You don't have to go very deep. (See picture with Step 4.)
Use mandoline slicer or knife to slice cucumber into very thin slices. Make slices as thin as possible--1/16 of an inch, if possible.
Toss cucumber slices thoroughly with salt and place in colander. Place colander in sink or bowl to catch draining liquid. Allow to drain for 20 minutes.
Cut onion into very thin slices. Add onion to dressing and combine thoroughly.
Rinse cucumber slices thoroughly. Drain them as thoroughly as possible. A salad spinner works well for this step. Add drained cucumbers to dressing and toss very well.
Chill for two hours and serve as side dish or relish with fish, meats or other salads.
Use two medium, regular cucumbers if you can't find English. Do salt your cucumbers to remove bitterness and excess water. The thinner your slices, the better your salad. Try using red onion. For a different flavor, add ¼ tsp. chili powder.
Unsalted cucumbers will make a watery salad. Observe all precautions when using a mandoline. This salad is best eaten the day it is made.