Cucumber Salad with Mint and Feta

When the hot weather hits, nothing is more cooling than a cucumber salad. Inspired by a fabulous cucumber salad shared with a friend at the Sea Salt restaurant in Berkeley, I canvassed my neighborhood grocers for some delicate Persian cucumbers. Have you ever eaten a Persian cucumber? Unlike the somewhat seedy American cucumbers with thick, bitter skins, Persian cucumbers are thin-skinned and practically seedless, so you can just slice them and eat them, without peeling. They can be hard to locate (even our local Iranian market didn’t have them), so you might try making this salad with English cucumbers which are also thin skinned and mostly seed-free. The combination of cucumber, mint, and feta cheese is really quite lovely.

Cucumber Salad with Mint and Feta Recipe



Persian cucumbers, about 5 inches long

  • 1 lb thin skinned, mild (non bitter) cucumbers, such as Persian, Armenian, or Japanese cucumbers, thinly sliced. You might also try it with English cucumbers.
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced and cut into 1-inch long segments
  • 2 or 3 red radishes, thinly sliced
  • 10 mint leaves, thinly sliced
  • White vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • 1/4 pound feta cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper


In a medium sized bowl, gently toss together the sliced cucumbers, red onion, radishes, mint leaves with a little bit of white vinegar and olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Right before serving, sprinkle on crumbled bits of feta cheese. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

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Our Cucumber yogurt salad
Cucumber salad with rice wine vinegar from Nosheteria
Persian cucumber & avocado salad from Fresh Approach Cooking
Asian cucumber salad with cilantro and vidalia onions from Kalyn of Kalyn's Kitchen
Sweet and sour cucumber salad from Brys of CookThink
English cucumber sandwiches from The Paupered Chef

Mandolin at for thinly slicing vegetables

View Comments / Leave a Comment


  1. barbara

    Elise these are called Lebanese cucumbers in NZ.

  2. lydia

    I’ve actually seen these cucumbers in two places recently: the farmers’ market, and Costco! Both delicious, by the way.

  3. telesilla

    I’m also a Sacramento resident and I’m wondering about the Iranian market you mention here. Mind telling me the name and/or location? I recently started cooking some Iranian dishes and there are a few ingredients that are hard to find.

    Also, this salad sounds great!


  4. Gary in Massena

    Hmmm… the weather is getting pretty hot and stormy over here. This looks like a perfect lite salad. I’ll be trying it in the next couple of days.

  5. Mike

    Give me this salad with a pita and some hummus and I’m set…looks great I will def. be trying this one.

  6. C

    Cucumber salads are the way to go in the summer. I just made a simple salad out of cucumber, tomato, and chickpeas with fresh cilantro and a splash of olive oil and lemon juice. It’s light, tasty, and travels well– perfect for lunches.

  7. Sara A.

    This looks delicious! And if you use reduced fat feta it’s Phase 1 South Beach Diet-friendly!

  8. Kalyn

    I am loving the sound of this. I just want to start eating it right off the screen!

    They sell those small cucumbers with the thin skins at Costco here. I don’t know if they’re actually the Persian cucumbers, the package just says “fresh mini-cucumbers” but they’re delightfully crisp with thin skins and look just like the ones in your photo.

  9. Elise

    Hi Barbara – Lebanese cucumbers? Ah, good to know, thank you.

    Hi Lydia – Leave it to Costco. They even carry oxtails on occasion. Thanks for letting us know.

    Hi Telesilla – A large market called “Eve’s” has just opened up at the corner of Walnut and Marconi in Carmichael. The people running it are Iranian so they have a lot of foods and spices from the Middle East. They are billing themselves as a Whole Foods, but a lot cheaper. Great store, though I don’t think the location is the best for them.

    Hi Sara – I so don’t trust reduced fat anything. They usually put carb heavy fillers in those, btw. Better to use a lot less feta in my opinion.

  10. fethiye

    You can find those cucumbers in Trader Joes and Costco. The same cucumbers are available most everywhere in the Middle East; that’s the kind you get in Turkey, too ;)

    Elise, have you ever tried using “Bulgarian White Cheese”? I suggest you use that once for these type of recipes.

  11. nava

    Hi Elise, I’ve been reading your posts for some time now, and enjoying them a lot. Being a persian girl, it felt so good hearing about the persian cucumber and that you liked them. Other then thin skin and not much seeds, they have such aroma that I haven’t smelled in any other kind of cucumber. By the way, in our tranditional cucumber salad, we have tomato instead of radishes. Thanks for giving me such a good feeling…

  12. Tea

    You and I are so on the same page with cucumbers right now. I can’t get enough of them (more accurate to say, they are one of the few things I want to eat in this weather!). Thanks for giving me yet another way to use them.

  13. Wendy

    My aunt and uncle are coming to vist this weekend. I intend on putting their housewarming gift (a BBQ) into action with some greek souvlaki. This will be a wonderful accompaniment. Thank you. :)

  14. jennbecluv

    I think I’m going to try this with “lemon cucumbers”. If you haven’t seen them, they look very much like a lemon (small, roundish and pale yellow). They don’t really taste like a lemon though so I think when I make this I might also incorporate some fresh lemon balm to add even more flavor. Thanks for the great ideas!

  15. home gardener

    I just wanted to comment – for anyone growing a garden, go with Armenian cukes next year. I grew them last year for the first time, and I’m converted! These plants just bear and bear – VERY long and nicely shaped/tasting cucumbers.

    We start them from seed in late February, early March inside, and transplant them mid April. This looks like a similar version of a recipe we love. Gonna try it tonight with yesterday’s harvest. Thanks!

  16. Stefania/CityMama

    Trader Joes has these cukes year-round. They also make the best tzaziki and laban salad (cukes with yogurt and mint.)

  17. Kayla

    We buy these cucumber in Russian stores/markets here in Dallas. They are the only cucumbers we had in Russia, so I didn’t know they had a different name. Also, as far as that bulgarian white cheese, I think it’s a bit too watery for these sort of recipes. That’s just my opinion, of course. Thanks for the recipe!

  18. Dana

    I am able to get these cucumbers at my local Costco! They are the best!

  19. Maninas: Food Matters

    Great recipe! I shall have to try that!

  20. telesilla

    Thanks, Elise! I’ll be sure to check them out. I’m midtown, but it sounds like that’s worth the drive.

  21. Linda

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE any kind of cucumber salad and what I like best to use and grow a lot are little pickling cukes which are sweet and thin skinned no need to peel and very tiny seeds! also have grown the seedless cukes as well as the Japanese before too they need very little room (a large patio pot works well even if no garden space!) anyway a thought if unable to find the seedless cukes could use the pickling ones too! thanks for the recipe though allergic to mint I use basil and dill with mine!! thanks so much LOVE your recipes!! Hugs Linda

  22. Leisureguy

    You don’t macerate the cucumbers? I always do when I make a cucumber salad, and (IMHO) it improves the salad.

  23. Hiba

    As a Leb, I will second that they are widely available in the Middle East–but I’d never heard they were called Lebanese cukes…come to think of it, I’d never seen anything but these cukes until I left Lebanon, so perhaps that moniker is accurate… I also wanted to stress they are indeed available at Trader Joe’s, called “Persian-style Cucumbers” and at good ole Costco. IMHO, they’re the only cukes worth eating anyway. Thanks for yet another fabulous recipe, Elise.

  24. Elise

    Hi Leisureguy – I think the Persian cucumbers are so delicate and tasty, you don’t need to soak them first. For this salad, some I salted and let sit for a bit, others I didn’t. I much preferred the crunchiness of those I didn’t let sit.

  25. Elise

    Hi again Leisure Guy – I just remembered something. If the cucumber is bitter, by all means soak it in salt water to see if you can get rid of some of the bitterness. We had some Armenian cucumbers last night; one was perfect, the other was so bitter it ruined the dish. It pays to taste the cucumber before it gets mixed up in a salad.

  26. Julie

    I grow mint so I’m always happy to find suggestions for using it. I’m not familiar with Persian cucumbers but after reading this I will be anxiously seeking them.

    Lots of great ideas here including home gardener’s recommendation of Armenian cucumbers. I’m putting that on my seed list for next year.

  27. Amy

    I’ve never seen these little cucumbers before but they look adorable! Cucumber, mint, and feta sounds like a very refreshing combo. I’m always looking for more cucumber salad recipes since they’re so wonderful in the summer.

  28. Carolyn

    Elise, I buy these often around Sac. TJ’s often has them, though that’s the last resort. The Yolo Fruit Market (Davis side of the Causeway) also carries them – along with a reasonable selection of Iranian/Persian foodstuff. Finally, one of the southernmost vendors at the X Street farmer’s market on Sunday carries lots of them this time of year. The vendor also sells the super-thin Japanese-style cucs used for tsukemono, which are also delicious. Cheers!

  29. Tommy T

    Elise, I know I’m a bit late with this cucumber talk, but noticed you mention having a salad with Armenian cucumbers which was ruined because one was bitter. Having grown Armenian cucumbers in my home garden for 15+ years, and in a hot climate to boot, I have never had an Armenian cucumber get bitter on me! If they get too big, the skin gets tougher & the seeds develop a tough hull, but the actual flesh doesn’t bitter like regular cucumbers because they are technically a type of melon eaten very young. I wonder if someone sold you something other than the true Armenian cuke. As home gardener posted on July 10, this cuke/melon is very productive, delicious, & I’m still eating cukes now in September. The salad is excellent with these as well. Thanks! Tommy T

  30. Tommy T

    I just posted a comment about Armenian cucumbers but just now read the first part of the recipe which suggests trying Armenian cukes. The thing about Armenian cucumbers is that they need to be harvested young. If harvested young enough the skin is almost fuzzy soft, “like a baby’s bottom”, & the seeds are so undeveloped as to be 100% as crisp & edible as the rest of the melon, which is what the genetics tell us it really is.
    On a related note, I have even used unripe watermelon, peeled, as cucumber, when a baby watermelon was accidentally severed from the vine! It would seem most cucurbits (family of plants including cucumber, melon, squash, pumpkin, watermelon, & gourds) have some similar taste profiles from the start. Salúd! Tommy

  31. Zoe

    Love this recipe. It is great as it is, but also wonderful as a base to do a fridge dump. I often add chickpeas, roasted chicken, marinated onion. When I have them in the garden, I use picking cukes and they work really well. Off season I use the english kind. I cut them with a mandolin, salt, rinse and wring in a sack cloth and they taste very very good in this dish. I made this earlier this week with salmon roasted with miso… a HUGE batch and it gobbled up – no leftovers. Nice premature entree to Spring.

  32. ridojiri

    These Lebanese cucumbers are a lot longer here. [NZ]

  33. Oralea Howard

    DELICIOUS. I’m eating it right now and loving every bite. I don’t like summer (winter is my season), but eating this salad, I feel like summer might not be so bad. :)

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