Cucumber Salad

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

  • 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.

Yum

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 41 Comments

  • Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)

    Cucumbers love rice vinegar. I like to slice my cukes very thin, on a mandoline, and toss them with a bit of red pepper flakes, salt and sugar, and the vinegar. I always need to make more than I’m planning to serve, because I can’t help but nibble on the cucumbers as soon as the vinegar hits them.

  • Linda M.

    First I have to say that being such a late bloomer in the world of the internet & then blogs, I’ve been enjoying you on my yahoo homepage for a long time & only recently realized that you are indeed a blog………LOL…oh boy, anyway, I have you & PW on my homepage & that should tell you how much I love,love your blog! You do such a great job of giving us everyday things to make & you make it so “simple” Thanks for that!
    I also love to have cucumber salad around as much as I can. I too make it with the sugar in it & my sons & now my grandchildren enjoy it every time. Whether you slice them thin or in chunks I think they’re the best in the summer salad recipes!

    Thanks for saying hello! ~Elise

  • Mitchell

    We add a touch of sour cream and a bit of sugar to these ingredients for a little more oomph–and chopped parsley (curly) is nice too!

  • Amanda

    This method is equally delicious with tomatoes! When I lived at home we had tomato salad with rice wine vinegar, salt, and pepper almost every night in the summer. Sometimes a splash of Italian dressing or a cucumber would find its way in there too. Now that I live in an apartment in a city and can’t grow my own tomatoes, I only have it about twice a week and it makes me sad. This salad is also the only way I will eat canned tuna fish. It is delicious mixed in with the tomatoes! Try it sometime for a quick lunch!

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