Micah Sheva's Cracked Cucumber Dill Salad Recipe

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My great-grandfather (grandfather), whose name was Arnold, was a natural host. Whenever we visited his house, he would bring trays of candy, Mrs. Fields cookies, Coke, and ice cream floats (with unique flavor combinations, like cream soda or orange soda instead of cola, no less). He would make fresh-squeezed orange juice for my babi (grandmother) every morning, and if you were lucky, he would make you a slice of “Zida's Pickle” with pickled cucumbers, salt, sugar and vinegar. It was the perfect treat that we looked forward to and craved every summer. Since then, I often make variations of my own pickles and wonder how he took such pride in caring for others. The flavors of Arnie's pickles inspired me to make this cucumber salad, a modern twist on a side dish that's a hybrid between a salad and his pickle plate. This is a great dinner party option.

Pickles and Jewish food

Pickles play an important role in Jewish cuisine, especially for those living in Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, and Russia. Before refrigeration was possible, pickling was a way to preserve fruits and vegetables to ensure there was enough to eat through the winter. There are two main types of pickles: brine and vinegar. Salt pickles are what we now associate with Jewish delis because vinegar was too expensive for poor Jews. Jewish home cooks used salt to preserve summer's bounty along with garlic and dill and then left to ferment for weeks, if not months.

Buy a cookbook.: Nosh: Plant-Forward Recipes Celebrating Modern Jewish Cuisine.

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