I don’t have a lot of family recipes that were handed down from generation to generation. Both of my parents grew up in times and places where people would eat to live and not the other way around, so the food my parents grew up with was very simple and economical. These two salads are something that my German grandmother would make for my mother and then my mother made them for us.

The cucumber salad is much like what my mom used to make when I was growing up. One of my favorites, and a welcome alternative to the leafy green salads it seemed like we were always eating. Growing up we had Maggi seasoning, which topped every salad, especially the cucumber salad. I recently switch to Bragg’s Liquid Aminos which has a similar flavor but with no GMOs.

The radish salad is based on Bayerischer Raditeller, which literally translates to Bavarian radish plate. Traditionally, it is sliced red and white radishes with chives served on top of buttered rye bread. In my parents’ house it was put on either bread or Wasa rye crisps with salt and a layer of Havarti cheese to keep the radish slices contained.

Summer Salad Picnic

Creamy Cucumber Dill Salad

I’m not even going to make an ingredient list because it’s just cucumbers, dill and sour cream — yes, it’s that simple. Slice two peeled cucumbers about 1/8 inch thick, seeds and all. Chop the dill and mix it in with the sliced cucumbers. Stir in one heaping tablespoon of sour cream for each cucumber used. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator for an hour. Before serving, stir the cucumbers to further mix the sour cream with the leached cucumber water.

Radish-Chive Salad

Again, so simple. A bunch of radishes sliced thin, finely chopped chives and enough grapeseed oil to lightly coat the salad. Salt to taste if you feel like it. Done.

And, FFS, use fresh dill and chives. You can easily find them fresh at most grocery stores. You can use dried in a pinch, but really, what’s the point? As my mom is fond of saying, “live foods give life”. They also give it flavor.