Salads are a great way to celebrate the season and are especially refreshing on hot summer days. This peach and cucumber salad has a simple set of ingredients that play off of each other in a fun way.
The black pepper and lime in the basil vinaigrette add a brightness and layer of complexity that gives this dish the perfect balance of sweet and savory.
This quick and easy salad is delicious on its own but also pairs wonderfully with savory meats, adding a cool and zesty bite to whatever it’s served alongside. You’ll quickly see why this unexpected combination just works.
HOW TO SLICE STONE FRUIT
First, cut the fruit in half, lengthwise, slicing all the way around the pit using the indent as a guide. Hold each half of the cut fruit and twist in opposite directions.
With ripe fruit, this action should help separate the halves easily. If not, use your hands to pull the halves apart. If you have a Cling-Free or Freestone Peach, you’ll be able to remove the pit easily. If not, use a spoon to dig it out.
THE BEST CUCUMBERS FOR SALAD
English cucumbers are ideal for this recipe because they’re nearly seedless and have thin skins. Sometimes you will see English cucumbers sold wrapped in plastic. They are also called seedless or burpless cucumbers.
Persian cucumbers are often sold as mini cucumbers. They would be a good replacement for English cucumbers, however, you’d need two to three Persian cucumbers to one English cucumber, due to the size. With either variety, you won’t need to peel them as they both have thin skin.
If you happen to have regular slicing cucumbers and would like to use those, just peel the skin, slice them in half, and scoop out the seeds so they don’t water down the salad. From there, you can chop them into chunks.
SWAPS AND SUBSTITUTIONS FOR CUCUMBER PEACH SALAD
This salad is incredibly versatile. You can make simple swaps for almost every ingredient. The idea is just to have fun with it!
- Swap the basil in the vinaigrette out for mint, cilantro, or tarragon.
- If you don’t have peaches, try nectarines or plums.
- No cucumbers? Try leafy greens and whatever crunchy vegetables you have on hand, like fennel or even string beans.
- For a spicy kick, swap the subtle black pepper for a few slices of jalapeño.
- If you’d like to add cheese, try briny feta or creamy goat cheese.
CAN YOU MAKE CUCUMBER PEACH SALAD AHEAD OF TIME?
If you need to make this ahead, prepare the dressing and the cucumbers (but not the peaches), and store them separately. Wait to dress the salad until just before you’re ready to serve. This salad is best enjoyed immediately as, over time, the peaches will oxidize and turn brown and the cucumber will release water, diluting the flavorful dressing.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH THIS SUMMER SALAD
The freshness and acidity of this salad pair well with just about any grilled meats: chicken, steak, even burgers! Simple grilled fish like trout or salmon or seafood are also complemented by this flavorful combination.
Really, this salad doesn’t need accompaniment and is also perfect as a stand-alone afternoon snack or light lunch.
MORE SUMMERTIME SALAD RECIPES!
Easy Cucumber, Peach, and Basil Salad Recipe
Blending this vinaigrette in a food processor allows all of the ingredients to disperse most evenly. While the dressing may be whisked by hand instead, the flavors will not be as pronounced.
- 1 (12-14-inch) English cucumber, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 2 fresh peaches, cut into 1-inch chunks
For the vinaigrette:
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil or olive oil
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- Zest of one lime
- 1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lime juice
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 4 large fresh basil leaves, plus more for garnish
- 1/8 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
1 Prep the vegetables: Add the chopped peaches and cucumbers to a large bowl.
2 Make the vinaigrette: In the bowl or a mini food processor or blender, combine the oil, vinegar, lime zest and juice, honey, basil, salt and pepper. Pulse until the basil is finely chopped and the vinaigrette is completely emulsified.
3 Dress the produce: Pour the vinaigrette over the peach and cucumber mixture. Stir to coat evenly.
4 Serve: Transfer to a serving platter, garnish with torn basil leaves and serve immediately.
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