Cucumber Salad with Grapes and Almonds

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


  • 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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  • 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.

  • 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! :)

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • diane

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

    • Elise Bauer

      Yes. Any cucumber will do. The thin skinned ones you don’t have to peel.

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • heidi

    Here’s a silly question – can I make a gazpacho using these ingredients? :-)

  • Nellie Yong

    I hardly buy chives. What is a good substitute for chives? Or should I just omit it altogether?

  • 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?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Karrie, it sort of looks Moroccan, but I think it’s more likely Chinese. I bought it at Uncommon Objects, a quirky and fun antique/vintage store in Austin, Texas.

  • randi

    Made this with dinner tonight and it was thumbs up all the way around. A really nice change.

  • Beth Sullivan

    This sounds delicious! Might be good with watermelon too….