This Quick & Easy Garden Cucumber Salad is a bright and delicious salad that is the perfect side salad for any meal. Made with just a handful of ingredients that can be found in your garden and pantry, you’ll never wonder what to do with your garden bounty of cucumbers ever again.
Whether you’re looking for a light and bright healthy snack or need a quick side salad for your weekly dinners, this Garden Cucumber Salad is just the thing you need.
Side dishes should not weigh down the rest of your meal, but they also need to be well-made to stand out on their own. Enter a fresh cucumber salad. With super minimal ingredients, the recipe is so simple it hurts.
If you grow your own cucumbers, you know how quickly they tend to grow when they are in peak season (between May and August). It’s easy to find yourself with a bundle of cucumbers and no idea what to do with them!
If that sounds like you, you are going to love this recipe. (You can also check out my Cucumber Sushi Rolls if you need some variety).
Literally, all you are going to need is some cucumbers, fresh dill, garlic cloves, salt and pepper, lemon juice, and olive oil. Here’s a deep dive into each ingredient:
Best Cucumbers to Make Salad With
Cucumbers are such a light, refreshing ingredient to include in your salads. Since it’s the main character of this particular garden salad recipe, you’ll want to pay attention to the skin and seeds.
English or Persian cucumbers have thin skins which you do not need to peel as they are not naturally bitter. However, regular market cucumbers tend to have thicker peels that can be tough and bitter, so it’s best to peel those.
If you are using your own, home-grown cucumbers, you will probably be familiar with whether or not the seeds or skin need to be removed. As a general rule, the older cucumbers are, the more bitter they become, with the seeds often tasting more bitter than the exterior.
You can also soak chopped cucumber in salt water to help offset any bitterness.
In most cases, though, your cucumber will be perfectly fine as is!
Using Herbs and Spices in this Garden Cucumber Salad
The first time I made this salad, I used lemon thyme because it’s what I had on hand. It was delicious, but I highly recommend using fresh dill instead of thyme. Dill brings a bright, sweet flavor that is pungent and offers an interesting addition to the otherwise pretty basic ingredients in this Garden Cucumber Salad.
Using any type of salt will do for this recipe, as long as you don’t get too heavy-handed. I like to use sea salt, but Himalayan salt or classic table salt will work great. Pepper, on the other hand, is a different story.
Freshly cracked black pepper will make all the difference in a garden recipe like this. It will add the tang of black peppercorn that is missing from typical seasoning and allow the main ingredients to stand out so much better.
If you want to get fancier with this recipe, go for it! There is so much room to add additional ingredients. Whether that’s more herbs and spices of your choice or other garden-fresh vegetables, the possibilities are endless.
Here are some quick suggestions:
Top with toasted sesame seeds
Add thinly sliced red onions, sweet onions, or scallions
Sprinkle with chili powder, red chili flakes, or cayenne pepper
Toss with freshly grated parmesan cheese, mini mozzarella cheese balls, or another cheese of your choice
Splash some red wine vinegar
Mix in tomatoes (cherry, roma, etc.) or green bell peppers