Cucumber Salad with Grapes and Almonds

A salad of cucumbers, grapes, toasted almonds and a little garlic - essentially a deconstructed white gazpacho.

We are using thin-skinned persian cucumbers for this recipe. These cucumbers are mild and the skins are not bitter so we can leave them on. If you are using thick-skinned cucumbers, or cucumbers with a bitter peel, you'll want to peel them for this recipe.

Cucumbers have a lot of water in them. When you dress them, the salt in the dressing will leach out some of this moisture, resulting in a lot of excess liquid. One way to get around this is to salt the cucumbers first, let them sit for a while for the salt to work its magic, then rinse off the salt and drain the cucumbers. This is step one in this recipe. You can skip it if you don't have time, but the result will then be much more watery.

  • Prep time: 30 minutes
  • Cook time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup slivered and blanched almonds
  • 1 pound cucumbers, peeled if the peel is bitter, unpeeled if not
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • About 20 green grapes, sliced in half
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sherry or white wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons minced chives, for garnish

Method

cucumber-salad-grapes-almonds-1 cucumber-salad-grapes-almonds-2

1 Slice the cucumbers in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds in the middle, discard the seeds. If using rather large cucumbers, slice them again lengthwise.  Then cut them crosswise into 1/4-inch to 1/2 inch slices.  Place in a large bowl and sprinkle with a teaspoon of kosher salt.  Toss to distribute the salt evenly around the cucumber pieces.  Let sit for 20 to 25 minutes while the salt helps pull excess moisture out of the cucumbers. Then rinse off the salt, drain the cucumbers, and squeeze out more excess moisture with paper towels.

cucumber-salad-grapes-almonds-3

Toast the slivered almonds in a small pan over medium-high heat, tossing them often, until they start to brown and smell good. Move to a bowl to cool.

3 Mix the cucumbers, almonds, garlic, grapes, olive oil, and vinegar together in a large bowl and add more salt to taste. Garnish with chives and serve.

Click on the comments you'd like to print with your recipe. Grayed out comments will not print.

Comments

  1. Karrie

    This dish looks crisp and cool, perfect for a hot summer day. I’m going to try this out this weekend.
    I love your cobalt blue serving dish. Is it Moroccan?

  2. Susie

    This looks nothing but refreshing on a hot summer day. My family is a huge fan of cucumbers and I’m always looking for a new recipe.

  3. Roberta David

    I have to add my thumbs-up on this recipe, too, Elise! It sounds divine!! Can’t wait to try it. My husband is Lebanese so we do many things with cucumbers…I’m thinking that our family will definitely love it! And I have to agree with Karrie…the bright cobalt blue serving dish is just beautiful! It sets of the color of the cukes and grapes wonderfully! Hope I can find one similar if not exact! Thanks for sharing this great recipe with us! Love your blog!!

  4. Karen

    Made it tonight, and it was lovely — fresh, lively, and just a little sweet from the grapes, which I’ll use more of next time because I’m quite fond of grapes. A double recipe completely disappeared into four people, so round up if you’re not sure how much to make!

  5. Gemmi

    This is almost like my favorite summer lunch, except I use cashews instead of almonds, and add a few chickpeas as well – I used garden grown cucumbers too!

  6. Sydney

    This is LITERALLY one of the best side salads I’ve ever had. So delicious and a crowd pleaser; it was all I could do from smacking peoples fingers away, picking at it until I served it!

  7. Evelyn

    Made this tonight with English cucumber. My husband (not normally much of a vegetable guy) and I both liked it. It’s easy, tasty and nutritious – everything I look for in a side dish.

  8. Roger

    I just made this (almost) for an impromptu lunch for 3 today. I didn’t have almonds so substituted pistachios and walnuts, toasted per the directions. Used an English cuke and more grape halves than indicated as they were particularly good. Served on lettuce leaves and garnished with salted sunflower seeds. The wife and guest were equally complimentary. Thanks for the inspiration.

  9. Jayce Creed

    This sounds like absolute perfection. I currently have only the fresh garlic and vinegar at home, but I plan on making a quick run to the store tomorrow to get the other necessary ingredients in order to make this. Sounds and looks delicious!