It’s the time of year when cucumber season is in full swing! There are so many ways to dress up salads made with this cool summer vegetable. Here are delicious ideas to add to your recipe box.
Traditional cucumber salads are made with a vinegar-based dressing, like in my 5-ingredient version. I’m proud to say that it’s always requested at my annual family Labor Day barbecue. Without an overwhelming dose of oil, calories can stay pretty low per serving.
To get creative, you can opt for a yogurt-based dressing or a touch of mayo. Spice it up with freshly chopped chile peppers, crushed red pepper flakes, toasted cumin seeds, or sesame seeds. Or add fresh herbs, like dill or mint. Try sea salt or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Mix in flavorful fruit like lychee, mango, dates, orange or avocado or opt for veggie add-ins like watercress, red onion, or snap peas.
To avoid an overly watery cuke salad, drain the cucumbers before tossing in the salad. There are several ways you can do so. Some like to place the cucumbers in a colander and place a heavy bowl or pot on top. I like to sprinkle my cucumbers with kosher salt and wait an hour—the salt naturally helps remove much of the water. Then I squeeze out the excess water with my clean hands.
Recipes To Try
- Mango-Cucumber Rice Salad
- Smashed Cucumber-Date Salad (above)
- Cucumber Lychee Salad
- Red Onion and Cucumber Salad
- Cucumber-Avocado Salad
- Greek Feta and Cucumber Salad
- Cucumber Watercress Salad
- Snap Pea and Cucumber Salad
- Cucumber Salad with Orange and Mint
- Cucumber Salad with Dill
TELL ME: What’s your favorite way to step up a cucumber salad?
Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. See Toby’s full bio »