Cucumber Salad

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Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

About this time of year we start having cucumber salads almost every night with dinner. The cucumbers are growing a bit out of control in the garden, climbing up the tomato cages and all over the zinnias that line the raised beds.

Every other day I bring in a handful, peel them and chop them up for a simple salad consisting of nothing more than the cucumbers, some rice vinegar, either dill or basil, and salt and pepper.

You don’t even really need the herbs; cucumbers are crunchy and cool with just some vinegar, salt and pepper. But added dill or chopped fresh basil will elevate this simple cucumber salad to something just a bit more interesting.

I like adding a mix of regular basil and Thai basil (the one that tastes somewhat licorice-y).

Cucumber Salad Recipe

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  • Yield: Serves 2-4

Cucumbers can vary in their level of bitterness. Usually the older the more bitter, and the seeds are often more bitter than the flesh. Once you cut into a cucumber, taste it.

If bitter, scrape or cut away the seeds. You might also want to soak the chopped cucumber in salt water to help offset the bitterness. The cucumbers we get are usually fine as is, but I have had some bitter ones.

With regards to peeling, we almost always peel our cucumbers, but there are some varieties with thin, mild peels that you don't need to peel. Taste first if there is a question.

Ingredients

  • 1-2 large cucumbers (or 4-5 lemon cucumbers), peeled, quartered lengthwise, then sliced crosswise
  • 1-2 Tbsp chopped fresh dill, basil, or Thai basil*
  • 2-3 Tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

*To chop the basil, chiffonade it by stacking the leaves on top of each other, rolling them up like a cigar, and taking thin slices from one end to the other.

Method

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, toss to coat. Serve immediately, or make ahead (up to a couple of hours) and chill.

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Showing 4 of 35 Comments

  • Phoenix Amsterdam

    freeze cubed cucumber first, then defrost and apply the recipe; surprising difference

  • Penny

    Made this with basil from the garden and it ws so nice! Served with sesame noodles. Will have to try the honeydew combo mentioned above as well. Thanks Elise!

  • Sara

    In addition to being bitter, cucumber seeds can upset the digestion (causing gas). Many people who think cucumbers disagree with them find that with the seeds removed, they have no trouble. The easiest way to remove the seeds is to cut the cuke in half long-ways, and then scoop them out with a tablespoon.

  • Rand All

    I’m eating this salad right now, as I type. For something so simple, it’s surprisingly tasty.

  • Stash

    Toasted sesame seeds work well too in place of the basil.

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