Amanda Hesser's Recipe for Cucumbers in Cream

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Amanda Hesser shares her recipe for Cucumbers in Cream from her new cookbook: "The Essential NYT Cookbook."

Cucumbers in Cream

This chilled cucumber salad comes from Florence Fabricant, a long-time reporter at the Times who is both feared and cherished for her dogged coverage of new products and restaurant news, and who is known around town as Flo Fab. Cucumber salad is the kind of dish that you can’t avoid, as it lurks in delis, at picnics, and on buffets. But once you taste this one, you’ll realize how often it’s poorly made and sorely lacking lemon. The sour cream and lemon electrify each other’s best traits: the floral aroma in the lemon zest and the richness in the sour cream. This salad is one of my favorite recipes in the book—thanks Flo Fab!

3 cups peeled, thinly sliced cucumbers (about 3
regular cucumbers) or thinly sliced (peeled if
desired) English (seedless) cucumbers

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 cup sour cream

Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon minced chives

Freshly ground black pepper


1. Dust the cucumbers with the salt and let stand for at least 30 minutes. Rinse thoroughly and drain.

2. Combine the sour cream, lemon zest, and juice in a bowl. Toss the cucumbers in the dressing and dust with the chives and a generous sprinkling of pepper.

Serves 6

Serving Suggestions

Roast Chicken Salad (p. 492), Buttermilk Roast Chicken (p. 493), New York Strip Steak with Horseradish-Mint Glaze (p. 566), Eisenhower’s Steak in the Fire (p. 512—or just a grilled steak!), Tomatoes Vinaigrette (p. 218), Saratoga Potatoes (p. 273), Lora Brody’s Bête Noire (Intense Chocolate Cake; p. 763), Salted Caramel Ice Cream (p. 733), Fresh Raspberry (or Blackberry or Blueberry) Flummery (p. 824) 

August 28, 1977: “Food: When Cucumbers Are Best,” by Florence Fabricant.


Reprinted from THE ESSENTIAL NEW YORK TIMES COOKBOOK by Amanda Hesser. Compilation copyright (c) 2010 by The New York Times Company and Amanda Hesser.  Recipes and reprinted text copyright (c) 2010 by The New York Times Company. Used with permission of the publisher, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.