Quick and easy cucumber salad makes itself right at home next to just about any summer recipe. A sweet and tangy vinaigrette makes it so refreshing!
For this month’s Progressive Eats menu, we’re celebrating the season with simple summer dishes. From blistered shishito peppers to pink lemonade slushies, these are the kind of recipes that are perfect for enjoying outside under the sun. Mix and match side dishes to go with your favorite burgers or just lay out a spread to pick at all afternoon!
For me, summer wouldn’t be summer without this cucumber salad recipe. It’s one of my go-to summer traditions because it’s easy to make and super refreshing when it’s hot outside.
Ingredients for cucumber salad
It’s so easy to riff on this fresh cucumber salad recipe to make it your own. Quality produce has been a little hit or miss these days, so I kept things salad simple with just cucumbers and red onions. But you can jazz it up by adding big slices of juicy heirloom tomato or avocado. If you prefer a creamier dressing, you can also stir in a tablespoon or two of sour cream.
My “secret ingredient” for making the best cucumber and onion salad is tarragon vinegar. It has a wonderful bittersweet flavor with herbal notes and a hint of licorice. There’s really nothing quite like it. If you don’t have any, you can also use champagne vinegar. I highly recommend giving tarragon vinegar a try though. You can buy it (affiliate link) or make your own. It’s also great on this lovely asparagus salad.
I also like adding celery seed to my cucumber salad. It gives it a touch of celery flavor, without the stringy texture that sliced celery has. That texture just doesn’t belong here. If you don’t have celery salt, finely chopped celery leaves make a nice substitute.
Is cucumber salad basically just pickles?
I mean, yes. Pretty much! This salad is a little more complex and a little less acidic than you’d typically expect pickles to be, but at its core it’s basically a quick pickle. If you have any left over, it’s great on anything that pickles might be found on. Try putting it on burgers or pulled pork sandwiches or even adding some to shredded chicken tacos.
What else is on the menu?Welcome to Progressive Eats, our virtual version of a Progressive Dinner Party. This month’s theme is Easy Summer Dishes, and our host is Barb who blogs at Creative Culinary If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, a progressive dinner involves going from house to house, enjoying a different course at each location. With Progressive Eats it’s a virtual party. A theme is chosen each month, members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party, and you can hop from blog to blog to check them out. Come along and see all of the delicious summer inspired dishes!
Easy Summer DishesAppetizers
- Salmon and Cream Cheese Bagel Board – Creative Culinary
- Radish Toast, Two Ways – Sarah’s Cucina Bella
- Country-Style Potato Salad with Creole Mustard – Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Blistered Shishito Peppers with Cheese – The Wimpy Vegetarian
- Indian Carrot Salad – SpiceRoots
- Chicken Fried Rice – The Heritage Cook
- Minty Couscous Salad – Mother Would Know
- Fudgy Brownies from Scratch – That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Pink Lemonade Slushies – The Redheaded Baker
- 2 English cucumbers
- 1 red onion
- 2 Tablespoons tarragon vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon celery seed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Thinly slice the cucumbers and onions. If you have a mandoline, this will help you get even slices, but a sharp knife also works well.
- Place in a large, nonreasctice bowl. Sprinkle with the celery seeds and salt.
- In a small dish, whisk together the vinegar and sugar until the sugar dissolves. Pour over the cucumber salad; let sit 10 minutes before serving.