10 Stepped-Up Cucumber Salads

It's the time of year when cucumber season is in full swing! There are so many ways to dress up salads made with this cool summer vegetable. Here are delicious ideas to add to your recipe box.
GEOFFREY_Z_GRILLED_SALMON_SMASHED_CUCUMBER_DATE_SALAD_H.jpg

GEOFFREY_Z_GRILLED_SALMON_SMASHED_CUCUMBER_DATE_SALAD_H.jpg

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

It's the time of year when cucumber season is in full swing! There are so many ways to dress up salads made with this cool summer vegetable. Here are delicious ideas to add to your recipe box.

Getting Creative

Traditional cucumber salads are made with a vinegar-based dressing, like in my 5-ingredient version. I'm proud to say that it’s always requested at my annual family Labor Day barbecue. Without an overwhelming dose of oil, calories can stay pretty low per serving.

To get creative, you can opt for a yogurt-based dressing or a touch of mayo. Spice it up with freshly chopped chile peppers, crushed red pepper flakes, toasted cumin seeds, or sesame seeds. Or add fresh herbs, like dill or mint. Try sea salt or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Mix in flavorful fruit like lychee, mango, dates, orange or avocado or opt for veggie add-ins like watercress, red onion, or snap peas.

To avoid an overly watery cuke salad, drain the cucumbers before tossing in the salad. There are several ways you can do so. Some like to place the cucumbers in a colander and place a heavy bowl or pot on top. I like to sprinkle my cucumbers with kosher salt and wait an hour—the salt naturally helps remove much of the water. Then I squeeze out the excess water with my clean hands.

Recipes To Try
TELL ME: What’s your favorite way to step up a cucumber salad?

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. See Toby's full bio »

Keep Reading

Next Up

Stepped-Up S'mores Recipes You'll Love

There's no better way to kick off summer.

"We Really Stepped Up Our Sabotages" — Alton's After-Show

Alton reveals the latest next-level sabotages to befall Cutthroat Kitchen contestants.

5 Ingredients: Cucumber Salad

Healthy and family-friendly! This light cucumber salad makes a great side for barbecue fare and is easy to tote along for a picnic.

10 New Ways to Do Up Potato Salad — Summer Soiree

Dive into potato salads that have never seen the inside of a deli container.

10 Healthy Salad Dressings

Instead of opting for bottled dressings, whip up one of these easy recipes with clean ingredients at home.

Egg Salad, Lightened Up

Egg salad can be high in fat, cholesterol and calories but with a few simple tweaks you can make light and delicious versions of this comfort food classic.

Pasta Salad, Lightened Up

Traditional pasta salad is swimming with hidden calories that’ll have you hiding from bathing suit season. Find out how to lighten up this summer classic and still keep your svelte shape.

Chicken Salad, Lightened Up

Though chicken is a lean protein, chicken salad isn't always a healthy meal. Find out common pitfalls and how to add special flavors that everyone will love.