A cucumber is a cucumber is a cucumber.  Until you’ve had it with celery seed.  Which I lucked upon one night at dinner at our fabulous neighbor’s home.  And then daydreamed about for weeks after.

Something about the combination of celery seed and sweet vinegar mixed with garden fresh cucumbers and onions lingered in my blood stream.  Beckoning me to make a batch of my very own and gobble it right up!

I’m not sure if this is the recipe as Tracey made it, but y’all know that would be way too easy for me to just ask for the recipe!  So through some trial and error, here’s what I came up with…I really should consider my kitchen a test lab…maybe give it a cool name and shout things like, “to the bat cave!” when I head in there.

Get your veggies in line ~ wash and pre-slice everything.

I like to leave a strip of skin between each swipe of the veggie peeler on a cucumber.  Not for any particular reason except that’s the way Mom did it, so that’s the way I’ll do it.  Forever and ever.  Amen.

Sprinkle the sliced cucumbers with salt and let them sit for about 10-20 minutes.  This will draw the water out of the cuke’s and give them a little extra flavor.  Drain, but do not rinse.  Use the back of a wooden spoon to press the excess water out.  Add these to the tomatoes and onions in a large bowl.  Sprinkle with celery seed and fresh cracked pepper.

In a small saucepan, combine the water, vinegar and sugar.  Stir to dissolve and bring to a quick boil over medium high heat.  Pour the sugar solution over the veggies and stir.  Refrigerate for at least an hour and serve chilled or at room temp.

I served this up as a secondary side dish to gorgeously grilled rib-eye steaks topped with garlic herb butter and fresh corn on the cob.  It was perfectly light and refreshing and easily balanced out such a hearty meal.

That’s code for, ‘made me feel like I was eating healthy even though I took down a rib-eye’.

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Cucumber Salad
Prep Time
Total Time
Easy chilled cucumber and onion salad with a twist! Celery seed brightens this up in a way dill simply cannot. Enjoy!
: Side Dish, Vegetarian
Serves: 8
  • 4 cucumbers, sliced
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 12-16oz grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ - ¾ cup white vinegar
  • 1-2 teaspoon celery seed, or to taste
  • Fresh cracked pepper to taste (about ½ - 1 teaspoon)
  1. Sprinkle sliced cucumbers with salt and let sit 10-20 minutes. Drain off excess water and combine in a large bowl with sliced onion and halved tomatoes. Sprinkle celery seed and fresh cracked pepper evenly across the top of the veggies.
  2. Combine water, vinegar and salt in a small saucepan and heat to a quick boil or until sugar dissolves. Pour sugar solution over the veggies and stir to combine. Add more celery seed if desired.
  3. Cover and chill 1-2 hours. Serve cold or at room temp.