Cucumber Salad Recipes for Picnics and BBQs

Cucumber Salad Recipes for Picnics and BBQs
fat choy broken cucumber salad

Justin Lee’s Broken Cucumber SaladPhoto courtesy of Fat Choy

Justin Lee’s Broken Cucumber SaladPhoto courtesy of Fat Choy

Cucumbers have a moment right now. For example, TikTok can’t get over the way Kendall Jenner cuts them into slices† Perhaps to compensate, users are handing out the most innovative cucumber recipes, smash themthey turn into caterpillar accordionseven pickling in Sprite

It’s easy to see why this water-filled vegetable peaks in the warmer months. Cucumbers are moisturizing, crunchy and as absorbent as a sponge, making them excellent vessels for marinades. In addition, they are best when they are cold. So make these recipes, toss them in Tupperware, and enjoy on your next summer getaway.

Kari Heron, the blogger behind Chef and Stewardgot to know for the first time this recipe when she moved to Dubai. “Over the many years I lived there, I developed a strong affinity for feta and mint, which are common in Levant cuisine,” she says. “The Western mind can’t easily grasp the combination, but trust me, your taste buds will thank you for it.”

For this recipe you will need watermelon, cucumbers and feta cheese. The dressing is a simple combination of lemon and olive oil, with both dried and fresh mint for a deeper flavor. “Since watermelon is lower in carbs, it’s also a great way to satisfy a sweeter craving while watching sugar consumption,” explains Heron. “Combining the fruit with the high-protein feta and good quality extra virgin olive oil slows the release of sugars into the bloodstream.”

As for presentation, Heron likes dicing the watermelon and making cucumber ribbons with a mandolin or slicing them very thin. Simply crumble the feta by hand and chop the mint over it or use the small leaves whole.

“This is great as a meal or with grilled meats or seafood, brightened up with a squeeze of lemon,” says Heron. “Grilled skewers are great to take out for a picnic, just like this salad. Just separate the ingredients into separate containers and assemble them on site.”

creamy cucumber saladcreamy cucumber salad
Katie Workmans Creamy Cucumber SaladPhoto by Cheyenne Cohen

A creamy cucumber salad is a classic. Katie Workman, cookbook author and founder of The Mother 100likes to use this one to add freshness to any menu. Slices of cucumber and red onion are tossed in sour cream, along with fresh lemon juice, dill, and chives.

“Feel free to play around with this recipe: Sub in a cup of sliced ​​scallions, white and green parts, for the red onions if you prefer,” Cookman says. summer twist. The crumbled feta or goat cheese at the end is optional — think about the rest of your menu, then decide if adding some cheese is a good idea, or over the top.

Workman likes to use baby cucumbers in her salads, “which are so much more readily available now than they were a few years ago,” she says. But you can also opt for regular cucumbers. Just cut them in half lengthwise, seed and cut into half moons. “If your cucumber’s skin is quite thin and soft, you don’t need to peel it,” she says. “Otherwise, peeling the cucumber makes for a more delicate salad.” Workman likes to serve this recipe with a Greek Turkey Burger

Salad of crushed cucumber

The menu of Justin Lee’s “sort of Chinese, also vegan” restaurant in New York City, Fat Choy, wouldn’t be the same without its crushed cucumbers. Lee nostalgically considers it the Chinese version of Shake ‘n Bake. “Instead of shaking breadcrumbs with pork chops, we would break cucumbers into plastic bags,” he says.

According to Lee, a great cucumber salad is one that capitalizes on the refreshing nature of the cucumber. “So ours is a little sweet, it’s a little creamy, it’s a little spicy,” he says. Lee prefers Persian cucumbers for this recipe because they have thin skins and are often uniform in size. But English, or hot house, cucumbers will work just fine.

The Fat Choy team uses the back of a cleaver to smash the cucumbers – although you can also use the back of the knife – to create a hasselback shape and give the cucumbers more surface area to absorb flavor . “We wanted the dressing to soak in and really soak in, and for the cucumber, which is wet, to actually pick up the dressing instead of just letting it fall off, which is pretty normal for a cucumber if you don’t put it on.” marinates.”

After the cucumbers are crushed, they are tossed in salt and refrigerated for up to 24 hours, which “helps remove some of the liquid from the cucumber so that the flavor is concentrated a bit,” Lee says. Then you toss them in a mixture of tahini, lime juice, miso, soy sauce, vinegar, ginger and sesame oil.

Lee coats his smashed cucumbers with chili oil, balsamic vinegar, scallions, and sesame seeds, but also suggests experimenting with crispy shallots, or something else “on the wave of breadcrumbs or croutons — a textured foil that also includes some of the that dressing can absorb,” he says. “You can almost make it into a panzanella if you have day-old bread.” Lee’s successful takeout model proves that these cucumbers travel well, but you can always whip up the sauces to shake things up at your outdoor party.

Fat Choy Smashed Cucumber Salad Recipe
Yield4 servings


  • 6 medium Persian cucumbers
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 garlic clove, finely grated
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon white miso
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chili oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds

1. Quarter cucumbers lengthwise, crush with the back of a knife in a hasselback pattern, then slice into 2-3 inch pieces on a steep slope. Toss cucumbers with 1 tsp. salt in a bowl. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours. The cucumbers have released some water, drain well before assembling the salad.

2. Whisk garlic, tahini, lime juice, miso, soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, sesame oil and sugar in a bowl and mix with cucumbers.

3. Plate the cucumber salad, cover with chili oil, balsamic vinegar, spring onions and sesame seeds.

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Jessica Sulima is a staff writer on Thrillist’s Food & Drink team. follow her Twitter and Instagram