Cucumber Salad with Grapes and Almonds

SaladQuick and EasyPaleoVegan

Cucumber Salad with grapes, toasted almonds and a little garlic—essentially a deconstructed white gazpacho! Perfectly balanced, cool and refreshing summer salad.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Good morning summer and hello cucumbers! What’s your favorite cucumber? Lemon cucumber? English? Armenian? How about pickling?

For many years I’ve grown lemon cucumbers, which are yellow and the size of a large lemon when ripe. They look sort of cool, but they can get seedy and they can be somewhat awkward to handle.

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This year I decided to plant Persian cucumbers instead, which are more delicate than the normal garden variety, and thin-skinned, perfect for salads.

I hope you like cucumbers dear readers, because the summer has just begun and already my plant is taking over the sunny corner of the garden. It grows mad like zucchini, but with smaller leaves and a more vine-y approach to life.

Cucumber plant in garden

For our first cucumber recipe of the season we decided to make a deconstructed white gazpacho minus the bread. Sounds fancy, but it’s basically cucumbers tossed with toasted blanched almonds, and sliced green grapes, with some vinegar and oil dressing.

The almonds give it a lovely crunch, the grapes some sweetness, vinegar a touch of acidity. The ingredients just happen to be the core of a Spanish favorite cold soup. So, as weird as the combination may sound, it works. I even ran out of grapes at one point and made a batch with some golden raisins instead. That was good too!

We recommend a thin-skinned cucumber for this salad, so you can leave the skins on. But if you have regular thick-skinned cucumbers, those should work fine too, just peel them first.

Cucumber Salad with Grapes and Almonds Recipe

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

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.


  • 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 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sherry or white wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons minced chives, for garnish


1 Prep the cucumbers: 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.

2 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 Combine: 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.

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Portuguese White Gazpacho with Crab Salad, from Leite's Culinaria

Tuna Salad with Cucumbers, Grapes, Tomatoes and Corn, from Seattle Bon Vivant

Broccoli, Grape and Cucumber Salad, from Natasha's Kitchen

Cucumber Salad with Grapes and Almonds

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

More from Elise

15 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Mary from NJ

    This was delicious. Made it with Persian cucumbers from local Farmer’s Market. Just as good the next day! Next time I may cut down the garlic a little bit or use roasted garlic to cut the tang.

  2. Natasha of

    Awww thanks so much for the reference. You’re an amazing cook and I’m honored. Now I’ll have to try your version! :)

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. diane

    Can you use English cucumbers for this recipe? They usually have skins that are thinner and don’t require peeling.

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