Ah, the classic cucumber salad! A timeless dish that never goes out of style. Imagine a refreshing oasis on a hot summer day, surrounded by lush greenery and the soothing sound of trickling water. That’s exactly what this salad will transport you to.
A deliciously refreshing salad that combines juicy cucumbers, and a zesty dressing, all perfectly balanced to create a symphony of flavors and textures.
With its simple yet elegant combination of fresh cucumbers and tangy dressing, it’s sure to quench your thirst and satisfy your taste buds. It’s perfect for any occasion, whether it’s a light lunch, dinner party, or just a quick snack. So let’s get started and indulge in this culinary delight!
Classic Cucumber Salad Recipe
- Large bowl
- Small bowl
- Cutting board
- Measuring spoons
- Mixing Spoon
- Salad tongs (optional)
- 4 large cucumbers peeled and thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese optional
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts optional
- Prepare the cucumbers:Peel and thinly slice 4 large cucumbers. Place the slices in a colander and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Let it sit for about 10-15 minutes to draw out excess moisture. Afterward, rinse the cucumber slices with cold water, drain well, and pat dry with paper towels.
- Make the dressing:In a small bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup of plain Greek yogurt, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, 1/4 cup of chopped fresh dill, 1/4 cup of white wine vinegar, and a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. The dressing should have a nice balance of tangy and creamy consistency.
- Assemble the salad:In a large bowl, combine the prepared cucumber slices, dressing, and 1/4 cup of crumbled feta cheese (if using). Toss gently to coat the cucumbers evenly with the dressing and feta cheese.
- Add the crunch:Sprinkle 1/4 cup of chopped walnuts (if using) over the top of the salad and toss again to combine.
- Serve:Divide the salad into 4 equal portions and serve immediately. You can also cover and refrigerate the salad for up to 2 hours before serving. Just give it a good toss before serving.
- Garnish and enjoy:Garnish with additional chopped fresh dill or a sprinkle of paprika, if desired. Serve chilled, and enjoy the refreshing flavors and crunchy texture of this classical cucumber salad!
Nutritional Facts per Portion:Calories: 170 Fat: 12g Carbs: 8g Protein: 8g
And there you have it – a stunning classical cucumber salad that’s sure to impress! Whether you’re entertaining guests or simply craving a healthy treat, this recipe won’t disappoint.
With its refreshing flavors and crunchy texture, it’s perfect for any casual gathering or special occasion. So go ahead, give it a try, and enjoy the compliments from your loved ones!
What is Cucumber Salad?
Cucumber Salad is a refreshing and delicious salad made with thinly sliced cucumbers, dressed with a tangy and creamy dressing, and often topped with crunchy feta cheese and nuts. It’s a classic dish that originated in Greece and is perfect for hot summer days.
How do I choose the right cucumbers for Cucumber Salad?
When selecting cucumbers for Cucumber Salad, look for ones that are firm, but not too hard, and have no bruises or soft spots. English or hothouse cucumbers work best, as they have a sweeter flavor and thinner skin than other varieties. Avoid using overly ripe or yellow cucumbers, as they may be too bitter.
Do you need to peel cucumbers for a salad?
The decision to peel cucumbers for a salad depends on personal preference and the desired texture and appearance of the final dish.
English or hothouse cucumbers are commonly used for cucumber salads, and their thin skins are edible and tender, so peeling is not always necessary.
However, if you want a more uniform look or prefer a slightly less crunchy texture, peeling the cucumbers can be a good option (as in this recipe).
Peeling also removes some of the bitterness and allows the dressing to penetrate the cucumber more easily.
On the other hand, leaving the skin on adds fiber and nutrients to the salad. In summary, whether or not to peel cucumbers is up to you and what you prefer.
How many cucumbers do you need to make a salad?
The number of cucumbers needed for a salad varies depending on the size of the cucumbers, the number of servings desired, and how much of the cucumber will be used. Generally, 2-3 medium-sized cucumbers will yield enough slices for a small to medium-sized salad serving 4-6 people.
Larger cucumbers can be used for bigger salads or for creating a larger quantity of slices.
It’s important to note that the size and shape of the slices will also affect the amount of cucumber needed.
Thin slices will require more cucumbers than thicker slices.
To estimate, plan on about 1/2 cup of sliced cucumber per serving. So for a salad serving 4-6 people, you would need approximately 2-3 cups of sliced cucumber.
How do I prepare the cucumbers for Cucumber Salad?
To prepare the cucumbers for Cucumber Salad, first wash them thoroughly in cold water, then drain and dry them with a clean kitchen towel.
Slice the cucumbers into very thin rounds, ideally using a mandoline or sharp knife to get uniform slices. Finally, place the sliced cucumbers in a colander and sprinkle with a little salt to remove excess moisture.
Can I use different types of cucumbers for Cucumber Salad?
While English or hothouse cucumbers are traditional choices for Cucumber Salad, other varieties like lemons, Kirbys, or even pickling cucumbers can work well too.
Just avoid using overly large or thick-skinned cucumbers, as they may not have the same delicate flavor and texture.
What kind of dressing should I use for Cucumber Salad?
If you want a different dressing from the one in our recipe above, a simple vinaigrette made with olive oil, lemon juice, and a touch of honey or sugar works beautifully.
You can also add some chopped fresh herbs like dill, parsley, or mint to give the dressing an extra burst of flavor.
Avoid using heavy or creamy dressings, as they can weigh down the delicate cucumbers.
Can I add other vegetables to Cucumber Salad?
Yes, absolutely! Some great options for adding extra veggies to Cucumber Salad include cherry tomatoes, sliced red onions, shaved carrots, or thinly sliced bell peppers. Just be sure to choose vegetables that complement the flavors and textures of the cucumbers and dressing.
How do I store Cucumber Salad?
Cucumber Salad is best served fresh, so it’s not recommended to store it for extended periods of time. If you must store it, keep it refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 hours before serving.
Be aware that the cucumbers may release moisture and become soggy if stored for too long.
Is Cucumber Salad Healthy?
Yes, Cucumber Salad is generally considered a healthy dish due to its high water content, fiber from the cucumbers, and nutrients from the fresh herbs and dressing. However, be mindful of the amount of dressing used and opt for low-fat or non-dairy alternatives if necessary. Additionally, choosing reduced-fat feta cheese or omitting it altogether can further reduce calories.
Can I make Cucumber Salad ahead of time?
While it’s best to serve Cucumber Salad fresh, you can prep most of the components ahead of time to save on preparation. Prepare the cucumbers, dressing, and nuts or cheese separately, then assemble the salad just before serving. This will help maintain the crisp texture of the cucumbers.
What are some variations of Cucumber Salad?
There are many ways to mix things up when it comes to Cucumber Salad.
Try adding grilled chicken or shrimp for added protein, swapping out feta cheese for goat cheese or almonds for pistachios, or using different herbs like basil or tarragon in the dressing.
You could also experiment with smoked or pickled cucumbers for a unique twist.
Can I use different types of cheese in Cucumber Salad?
Feta cheese is a classic choice for Cucumber Salad, but there are certainly other options you can explore.
Goat cheese, ricotta, or even crumbled Parmesan can offer distinctive flavors and textures.
Just be sure to choose a cheese that complements the other ingredients and doesn’t overpower the delicate cucumbers.
How do I make a vegan version of Cucumber Salad?
Simply replace the feta cheese with a plant-based alternative, such as crumbled tofu, tempeh, or a dairy-free vegan cheese.
You can also swap out the honey in the dressing for maple syrup or agave nectar to make it fully vegan.
Don’t forget to check the labels of any store-bought dressing or seasonings to ensure they’re free from animal products.
Can I use regular yogurt instead of Greek yogurt?
Yes, but keep in mind that Greek yogurt provides a creamier texture and a slightly tangier flavor.
What other herbs can I substitute for dill?
Parsley, basil, or mint work well as alternatives to dill.
How do I make the dressing emulsify properly?
Whisk the dressing ingredients vigorously until they combine smoothly. Start with the oil and vinegar, then add the yogurt and lemon juice. Add salt and pepper last.