Crisp, almost sweet, mini Persian cucumbers make a cool, refreshing salad. Toss with fresh herbs, like mint (or dill), tangy goat feta cheese and a light, lemony vinaigrette. Perfect for the end of summer or anytime of year. If you think you don’t like cucumbers, try this salad. It just might change your mind.
Persian Cucumbers – A Cucumber to Love
I admit, I was never a cucumber lover. I didn’t see what the fuss was about. Rough, thick, waxy skins. Big seeds. Watery flesh. No taste. What was there to really like? That was until I tried the little Persians, and was instantly transformed into a cucumber lover in one bite. Thin-skinned, no wax, crisp, sweet flesh, almost seedless. Now here is a cucumber to get excited about!
Botanically speaking, cucumbers, like tomatoes, are really a fruit, although we eat them like vegetables. They belong to the same family as cantaloupe, watermelon, and squash. Nutritionally speaking, cucumbers are loaded with phytonutrients (plant-nutrients) which provide valuable antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer benefits. They are just delicious to eat!
Easy, Healthy, Refreshing Salad
For this easy and healthy salad, start by slicing cucumbers into quarters lengthwise. I trim out the tiny seeds, but that’s optional. Next, cut the quarters in small pieces on a diagonal. Another way to cut them is to halve the cucumbers and chop into half moons.
Add finely chopped red onion, finely chopped fresh mint (dill is good too), and crumbled feta cheese. I like to use goat feta. My favorite, if you can find it, is the raw goat feta from Redwood Hill Farm. If cow’s milk cheeses don’t agree with you, try goat milk cheeses. Many people digest goat milk more easily due to the smaller fat particles.
Cucumbers can be sensitive to heat. When buying at the grocery store, choose from the refrigerated case. They should be firm with smooth, deep green skin, not wrinkled, limp, or wilted. At home, store in the refrigerator and enjoy within a few days.
Cucumber Mint Salad
- 6-8 Persian cucumbers
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
- 2-3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint (dill is good too)
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese, preferably goat feta (look for Redwood Hill Farm)
- 1 lemon, zested then juiced
- 1 tablespoon olive or avocado oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Slice cucumbers lengthwise into quarters. Trim out the fine seed centers if desired, the cut quarters into small pieces on the diagonal. You can also halve the cucumber and just cut into thin half moons.
- Add red onion, herbs, feta and lemon zest. Whisk together 1 tablespoon lemon juice and oil and toss with salad. Serve chilled.
For more about cucumber nutrition, read here, on the World’s Healthiest Foods site.
More information about Persian cucumbers, from the LA Times
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