Refreshing, creamy, minty and nutty, this cucumber ribbon salad might be set to become your new favorite summer salad.
It’s got so much going for it. Not only is it vegan and keto-friendly, it’s also a cinch to make and will please the whole family.
Cucumber ribbon salad recipe
Is there anything as refreshing as a cucumber? It’s one of those ingredients that, for me, is totally underrated.
I think it’s due to a lack of imagination. I mean, sure you can chop up a cucumber and throw it into a salad, with some leaves and tomatoes and a dressing. Still, there’s so much potential here.
That’s why I created this cucumber ribbon salad. Minimal work brings delicious results. As the cucumbers are sliced into thin ribbons, you get a really interesting texture to go with that vibrant flavor.
The creamy Greek yoghurt, a sprinkle of salt and pepper and the lemon juice produce a zesty, luscious dressing. The pecan nuts bring it all back down to Earth, with a wonderful nuttiness that adds that perfect counterbalance to the other flavors.
Finally, fresh mint wraps it all up with an aroma to make your swoon.
Intrigued? You should be!
Should you peel cucumbers for a salad?
I haven’t peeled the cucumbers for this recipe. For me, it brings a little extra color to the ribbon salad. Cucumber that is peeled loses some nutrients, so there’s another reason for you.
Still… hey, if you’re not a fan of cucumber skin, peel away!
How do you make cucumber ribbons?
By far the easiest way to make ribbons out of your cucumbers is to use a spiralizer. It will take less than a minute to make all the ribbons you need for this salad.
Cucumber ribbon is also great to use in place of pasta or noodles, especially if you’re on a low-carb or keto diet.
If you don’t have a spiralizer, do yourself a favor and get one. If you’re thinking “no, I don’t want one”... fair enough. You can use a vegetable peeler and get the same effect. It will take you longer and will be a lot more fiddly though.
How do you stop cucumber salad getting watery?
Cucumbers contain a lot of water. In fact, with a water content of around 96%, they contain more water than any other food.
So, when added to a salad, they can have the unintended effect of making the salad very watery.
The best way to prevent this is to sprinkle them with salt, then leave them to stand in a bowl for 30 minutes. The salt draws the water out of the cucumber.
Then, once you’ve drained the cucumbers, you can assemble your salad, free from worrying about it turning into a soggy mess.
What’s the best cucumber to use in a salad?
Believe it or not, there are actually quite a few different varieties of cucumber. They can all be broken down into three distinct categories: pickling, slicing and specialty cucumbers.
For this salad, we want a slicing cucumber. Some of the most popular types include diva cucumbers, sweet success cucumbers and straight eight cucumbers.
The best when it comes to salads are English cucumbers. They are long and straight with a particularly thin skin. This makes them perfect for slicing and throwing into salads with the skin still on.
They also have a sweeter flavor than most other cucumbers and their seeds are far smaller than the standard type. This means they don’t need to be deseeded before eating.
What herbs and spices go well with cucumber?
One of the great things about cucumber is just how many flavors it complements. As it’s a fairly neutral flavor, it sits well with flavors that are a little more intense.
In terms of spices, coriander, cumin, dried chili, turmeric and fenugreek all go well with cucumber. On the herb side of things, basil, chervil, dill, mint, oregano, parsley, sage, tarragon and thyme are all a great match.
What can I use in place of pecan nuts?
If pecan nuts aren’t your nut of choice, there’s plenty of opportunity to play around. The idea is to bring a crunch to the cucumber ribbon salad, so really anything will do, as long as it doesn’t overpower the other flavors.
Should you serve this salad straight away?
Yes, I recommend that you dive straight in! You can keep it in the fridge for up to 4 hours, but after that time it’s going to start to get soggy and won’t be very appetizing.
What to serve with this cucumber ribbon salad
Yes, it’s delicious on its own when served as a light lunch or a starter. You can, however, serve it up as a great side dish for any of the following:
- BBQ pulled lamb – melt-in-your-mouth fantastic, this recipe is irresistible
- Grilled lamb loin chops – another classic lamb recipe that would taste fantastic with a cucumber salad as a side dish
- Smoked beef short ribs – another dish that will make your taste buds explode!
- Oven baked barbecue chicken – a great recipe for your next BBQ, especially if you serve it with this cucumber salad
- Parmesan baked cod – tasty and healthy, this fish dish would be a great pairing with a ribbon cucumber salad
- Keto Coleslaw - This easy keto coleslaw recipe is a 5 minute marvel! When it comes to the perfect low carb summer side for your backyard barbecue, this recipe is hard to beat.
More deliciously refreshing cucumber recipes
After you’ve mastered this cucumber ribbon salad, check out some of these cucumber recipes:
- Pickled cucumber – if you’ve never pickled anything before, this is the place to start. It’s so easy to do and you won’t believe the flavor!
- Cucumber raita – pretty much a standard at every Indian restaurant you’ve ever been to. When in the depths of the spicy heat that’s typical of Indian cuisine, you need something as cool as a cucumber raita to take the edge off and bring a little balance to the table. Make it once and you’ll never make a curry without it again
- Cucumber salad with avocado and cashews – a simple cucumber salad that makes use of some basic yet fantastic flavor combinations. An ideal salad to serve up at a summer backyard BBQ
- Smashed cucumber salad – forget the standard Chinese takeaway food and get to know what Chinese cuisine is really all about. Light and healthy, yet jam-packed with flavour, this is another fantastic cucumber salad