Ensalada de Pepino Estilo Cuernavaca
This rustic cucumber salad, called ensalada de pepino in Spanish, is popular in the city of Cuernavaca, Morelos about 45 minutes south of Mexico City. Serve it as a side dish for carne asada or grilled fish. In Cuernavaca, it is always paired with another dish. It is never served alone. It’s perfect on a warm summer afternoon.
This salad only has four ingredients, five if you count the salt: cucumber, white onion, Mexican oregano and lime juice. You might think a four ingredient salad sounds dull but it’s not. It’s bright, fresh and has a surprisingly bold flavor. The secret is Mexican oregano which has a sharper flavor than Mediterranean oregano. The sharp flavor of the oregano is balanced nicely by the mild flavor of the cucumber.
A Quick Salad
This is a great salad to prepare if you are short on time. It only takes 10 minutes to make and you probably have all of the ingredients on hand.
- 3 cucumbers
- 1 large white onion
- 2 teaspoons Mexican oregano
- 4 Mexican limes
- Salt to taste
- Scrub the cucumbers and peel.
- Cut the onion into ¼" rings then cut the rings in half to make long strips.
- Slice the cucumber into ¼" rounds.
- Put the cucumber and onion into a large mixing bowl.
- Sprinkle with the 2 teaspoons of Mexican oregano.
- Squeeze the juice of the 2 limes onto the vegetables.
- Sprinkle with salt to taste.
- Gently toss the salad to evenly distribute the oregano, salt and lime juice.
- Cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Serve chilled.
This is not a dainty salad. Be sure to cut cucumbers and onion are cut into substantial slices, about ¼" thick.
This salad is best served the same day that you make it but it will keep for a day in the refrigerator.
Use Mexican oregano if possible. It has a stronger, sharper taste compared to the taste of Mediterranean oregano. Look for it in the Mexican section of the grocery store. It shouldn't be too difficult to find.