This Mediterranean Cucumber Salad is the best side salad to pair with any main dish. Its refreshing flavor pairs well with any grilled food or can be served as a part of multiple appetizers.
This is the base recipe for this simple cucumber salad and you can further customize it with all sorts of Mediterranean ingredients such as olives, salty creamy feta cubes, artichokes, hearts of palm and so much more!
This is one of the best universal side salads along with this incredibly popular on this blog Marinated Cucumber Tomato And Onion Salad.
Ideal for summer barbecues, your favorite grilled chicken or meat and seafood. We love to serve this simple salad with Olive Garden Baked Ziti, Old Fashioned Hamburger Casserole, and Farmer's Casserole.
There are many versions of this salad traditional greek salad, and I hope you enjoy my take on it.
There are so many of you, different readers, here at the Yummy Bowl - some of you like to get straight to the recipe ingredients and instructions, and some of you love reading the full information with tips and tricks that I provide for the recipe.
There is a skip to recipe button in the top left corner along with a clickable table of contents list (just below) that will quickly take you to the part you are more interested in. Enjoy!
My few comments on the ingredients + don't forget to read the Tips section!
The full recipe and ingredients can be found in the recipe card below this post.
This salad requires all fresh ingredients that are essential in Mediterranean recipes.
Use fresh local farmer's market cucumbers and tomatoes whenever possible. You can easily substitute other ingredients such as fresh herbs with dried herbs, different oil and seasonings.
- Cucumbers - Dutch, English cucumber, and Persian cucumber (usually more expensive) are juicy and skin not bitter. They have thin skins which makes them great for salad. For the creamy salad, I like to peel the skins anyway as it just tastes better when soft and creamy.
- If you’re not sure, actually long cucumbers are usually not as watery inside and have decent flavor. Too much water and cucumber juice will ruin the flavor and make the dressing diluted and hence result in less flavor.
- Different Fresh Herbs - the essential ingredients that you can't miss when making an authentic Mediterranean-style salad. Parsley, mint, basil, marjoram, sage, and fennel are one of the few herbs that can be used in refreshing Mediterranean salads. And you can get away with at least just two of these (I used parsley and mint combo). Cut mint chiffonade or simply finely chop the leaves. Mix it into the dressing. Don't like mint? Substitute with widely available fresh basil or cilantro.
- Lemon juice - gives that needed acidity, substitute with apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar. I also like to drizzle a little balsamic glaze over the salad in addition to the existing dressing.
Wash and cut all fresh veggies (tip: for best flavor chill the vegetables before you start)
If you want the salad to remain fresh longer you can remove the seeds from the tomato and cucumber but it is not necessary because I'd make as much as you'd consume on day 1.
Mix the salad dressing in a small bowl or mason jar.
Place cucumbers, tomatoes, onion, mint, parsley in a large mixing bowl, toss in the dressing, and serve!
Optional add-ons include salty feta cheese, a trio of olives, bell peppers, and artichokes.
- Cucumbers. Use either Garden pickling cucumbers, English cucumbers, or Persian cucumbers.
- For pickling cucumbers (small cucumbers), I prefer to peel the skins off as they can be bitter and hard to chew on, for English ones leave the skins on.
- I like this style of salad where all the ingredients are diced very small, this way you can enjoy all the ingredients together in one bite. Delicious! If you don’t have enough time, a good mandolin will work wonders! Slice or dice those cucumbers away, whatever shape you like.
- Cucumber seeds - should you remove the seeds from cucumber for a salad? It really comes down to your personal preference. It also depends if the salad will be consumed right away after making or will be enjoyed the following day. I would save the time and keep the seeds, but make as much as you’d need to consume on the day.
- This being said if you come home and find the cucumber you bought are TOO WATERY, cut them in half lengthwise and discard the seeds, then slice them. Also if the skin is too thick and harsh (like it is with smaller garden cucumbers) you would want to peel it off for this salad.
- I also love to add some lettuce to the salad, about 3 cups of 50/50 mix of arugula, romaine and/or spinach.
- To make this salad more nutritious I recommend adding chopped toasted nuts (pecans, walnut, almonds).
- How to make toasted nuts: Spread the nuts on a baking sheet and bake in preheated oven to 350 Fahrenheit for about 10 minutes or until they become fragrant and golden brown. Nuts burn easily! Keep an eye on these all time, especially during the last minutes.
Tomatoes - Depending on the size of the ripe tomatoes used, you can either cut them into quarters or in half. Grape tomatoes, sweet cherry tomatoes, Roma tomatoes are ideal. But any larger tomatoes such as heirloom tomatoes are perfectly fine, small diced though. I also recommend those tips on handling and storing tomatoes correctly for juicy and ripe flavor.
- If possible, purchase tomatoes with stems on, this indicates more ''life'' in them. Plus it helps to retain the incredible aroma and flavor!
Freezing And Storing Instructions
Store the leftover dressed salad in the fridge in an air-tight container and consume within 1 day (same day).
Undressed salad will taste fine if stored in the fridge for 1-2 day but for best results (and fresh flavor) I highly recommend combining everything right before serving.
You don’t need to peel the cucumbers for a salad, it is optional. But depends on the type of cucumbers used - Dutch, English, or Persian cucumbers have thin and not bitter skin that makes them perfect to use in salads.
Smaller, homegrown cucumbers can have thicker skin that is advisable to be removed but not necessary as well.
The best way to have the freshest cucumbers for consumption is to wash and cut them right before you are going to eat them. Whole cucumbers will remain fresh for a week or two in the fridge however sliced cucumbers only for a couple of days.
The cucumber skin is not poisonous itself however you do need to wash them with soapy water before use as you would with any vegetable or fruit bought from the store or market. Mass production retailers do use different methods for growing their produce so it is necessary to make sure no toxins or bacteria is left on a cucumber before you consume it.
Easy Salad Recipes
I hope you'll enjoy this Mediterranean cucumber salad recipe, please leave a rating on this recipe below and leave a comment, take a photo of your food and tag me on Instagram @theyummy_bowl. I love seeing your creations!
Thank you for reading,
Mediterranean Cucumber Salad
- 2 large fresh cucumbers diced, see notes (i didn’t remove the seeds, personal preference can do either)
- 2 cups diced tomato I used small grape tomatoes
- ½ cup red onion or sweet white salad onion chopped
- 3 tablespoons fresh mint leaves chopped
- 4 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil good quality
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice fresh
- 1 teaspoon Salt or more to taste
- Black Pepper to taste
Optional Add ons
- kalamata olives green olives
- feta cheese
- bell peppers
- Wash and cut all fresh veggies (tip: for best flavor chill the vegetables prior)
- If you want the salad to remain fresh longer you can remove the seeds from the tomato and cucumber but it is not necessary because I'd make as much as you'd consume on the day 1.
- Mix the salad dressing in a small bowl or mason jar.
- Place cucumbers, tomatoes, onion, mint, parsley in a large mixing bowl, toss in the dressing, and serve! Optional add ons include salty feta cheese, trio of olives, bell peppers, artichokes.