Cucumber Salad with Grapes and Almonds

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

Cucumber Salad with Grapes and Almonds
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.

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
Elise Bauer

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 unusual 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.

Bowl of sliced cucumber salad
Elise Bauer

Cucumber Salad with Grapes and Almonds

Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Servings 4 servings

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 thick or 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.

    Elise Bauer
    Elise Bauer

    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, toss them often, until they start to brown and smell good. Move to a bowl to cool.

    Elise Bauer
  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.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
155 Calories
11g Fat
13g Carbs
3g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 155
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 15%
Saturated Fat 1g 7%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 132mg 6%
Total Carbohydrate 13g 5%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 5mg 24%
Calcium 47mg 4%
Iron 1mg 5%
Potassium 304mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.