Light and creamy with lots of dill, this quark based Gurkensalat is the perfect side for any summer picnic!
If you’ve never had a creamy cucumber salad, I cannot recommend this enough! This gurkensalat is anything but heavy and rich. It is light and refreshing with thinly sliced cucumbers, dill, and a splash of lemon juice. It’s a very popular side dish in Germany and it will go with just about anything!
What is Quark?
This recipe uses quark from Wünder Creamery as the base of the sauce. It is a a European style cultured dairy staple. The consistency is similar to that of Greek yogurt but it is much smoother and naturally not tart in taste. It is packed full of protein and very little fat making it a great healthy alternative to mayo. Quark can also be easier to digest than other common dairy products because it has relatively little lactose inside!
If you can’t find quark in your local grocery store – you can order it from Wünder Creamery and have it delivered straight to your door!
Which cucumber should I use for Gurkensalat?
I recommend using an English cucumber for this cucumber salad. They are not as watery as other large cucumbers and the skin is so thin that they don’t need to be peeled. However, you can definitely try this salad with any variety of cucumber that you can find – just peel and de-seed the cucumbers first!
How long can this Cucumber Salad be out of the fridge?
Because the base of this sauce is a dairy product I recommend keeping it cold. It can probably stay out for the duration of a meal, but if you plan to bring it to a potluck or summer bbq, I would pack it in a cooler with ice packs.
Tips for making Gurkensalat
- The fresher the ingredients, the better. This cucumber salad will have the most flavor if the ingredients used are as fresh as possible.
- If you don’t love strong garlic taste, you can either use about 1/2 tsp of garlic powder or roast the garlic first to achieve a more mellow flavor.
- This gurkensalat tastes best if it has had about an hour to rest in the fridge; however, it will also taste great immediately after it is made
- Cucumber: Any cucumber will work in this salad but I prefer the english cucumbers because their skin is so thin they don’t need to be peeled first and the centers aren’t full of water which can easily water the gurkensalat down.
- Dill: This recipes uses A LOT of fresh dill – but, if you don’t love it or don’t have that much, you can definitely reduce the amount and it will still taste great! Make sure to use a sharp knife when cutting any herbs – if the knife is dull you will bruise the herbs and cause them to wilt.
- Wünder Creamery Quark: The base of this creamy salad is quark – my favorite is from Wünder Creamery – it tastes the most like what you can get in Germany and the ingredients are very high quality!
- Garlic: If you LOVE garlic feel free to add more than 1-2 cloves but be ware, because the garlic is fresh, it is pretty strong. The garlic can either be finely chopped or grated with a microplane.
- Lemon Juice: Lemon juice adds a little acidity to the salad and also helps to thin the sauce out.
- Salt & Pepper: Salt and pepper are key for bringing out the flavors in this cucumber salad!
How to make Gurkensalat
Make the Quark Dressing
- Prepare the ingredients by finely chopping or grating the garlic, chopping the dill, and squeezing the lemon juice.
- In a medium bowl, add in the quark, chopped dill, finely chopped garlic, salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Stir together to create the dressing.
Make the Cucumber Salad
- Chop off and discard both ends of the English Cucumber. Thinly cut the cucumber into slices that are between 1/8″ and 1/4″ thick.
- Add the cucumber slices to the bowl with the quark dressing. Toss the cucumber slices in the quark dressing until every slice is fully coated.
- Cover the bowl and place in the fridge for at least 45 minutes before serving. Allowing the gurkensalat to rest will allow the cucumbers to soften and the flavors of the dressing to meld.
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Gurkensalat | German Cucumber Salad
- 150 grams quark
- 12 grams dill chopped
- 1 clove garlic add more to taste
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 lemon juiced
- 1 english cucumber
Make the Quark Dressing
- Chop the dill and garlic.
- In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients except the cucumber.
- Stir everything together until all ingredients are fully mixed in.
Assembling the Gurkensalat
- Thinly slice the cucumber into rounds that are between 1/8" and 1/4" thick. Discard both ends of the cucumber.
- Add the cucumber into the bowl with the quark dressing and toss to combine.
- Cover the bowl with a lid or plastic and place it in the fridge for 45 minutes to an hour before serving.