Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Easy Recipe for Cucumber Salad with Balsamic Dressing

Cucumber Salad with Balsamic Dressing.
This Easy and Slightly Unusual Cucumber Salad is one of my Favorites!

(This favorite cucumber recipe was first posted in 2006 and updated with step-by-step instructions and better photos in May 2012.  I'm still on vacation but luckily I have my cucumbers planted at home so it won't be long before I can make this salad with fresh garden cucumbers.)

I think people who haven't had a garden where the amount of produce suddenly spins out of control can't fully appreciate what a dilemma it is to search for new ways to use up tomatoes, squash, and of course, cucumbers. It seems like every summer I add at least one or two new recipes to my collection for these garden veggies. Recently I came upon this recipe for cucumbers on a site called RecipeZaar. It looks similar to some other recipes for cucumbers that I've posted, but the flavor is very different.

This salad is slightly sweet and sour tasting, and it's a great change of pace from regular cucumber dressings. I used Splenda to keep the South Beach Diet police happy, but you could use Stevia In the Raw Zero Calorie Granulated Sweetener or sugar. The only thing I might change next time is to cut the cucumbers a tiny bit smaller. And, since cucumbers are one of The World's Healthiest Foods, you can eat this as often as you'd like.

Whisk together the balsamic vinegar, mayo, sweetener, lemon juice, and garlic to make the dressing.

For garden cucumbers I might cut off strips of peel when I made this, but for these small Persian cucumbers I just cut the cucumbers in diagonal slices.

Mix the desired amount of dressing on to the cucumbers, season with salt and fresh ground black pepper, and serve!

And here is the original photo of this salad from back in 2006!


Cucumber Salad with Balsamic Dressing
(Makes 2-3 servings, adapted slightly from RecipeZaar)

Ingredients:
2 or 3 medium cucumbers
4 T mayo or light mayo (do not use fat free)
1 T best quality balsamic vinegar (I like Fini balsamic vinegar)
1 T sweetener (Stevia in the Raw Granulated, Splenda, or sugar; use more or less depending on the quality of your vinegar)
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. garlic puree (also called ground garlic)
sea salt to taste
fresh ground black pepper to taste

Instructions:
In small bowl or measuring cup, use whisk to combine mayo, balsamic vinegar, sweetener or sugar, lemon juice, and garlic.

Peel the cucumbers, leaving strips of peel if garden cucumbers or keeping peel on for Persian cucumbers.  (I might peel completely for grocery store cucumbers.)  Place the cucumbers in serving bowl.  Combine cucumbers with dressing, season with sea salt and pepper, and serve. The salad can also be chilled for an hour or two before serving.


South Beach Suggestions:
This salad is a perfect side dish for The South Beach Diet, any phase. For phase one, eat this with Pork Chops with Balsamic Glaze and Roasted Broccoli with Garlic. For phase two or three you could add something like Brown and Wild Rice with Pine Nuts and Thyme.

More Salad Ideas with Cucumbers:
(Recipes from other blogs may not be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Ten Favorite Cucumber Salads from Kalyn's Kitchen 
Cucumber and Radish Salad with Feta, Red Wine Vinegar, and Buttermilk Dressing from Kalyn's Kitchen
Wake Up Your Mouth Thai Cucumber Salad from Kalyn's Kitchen
Sweet and Spicy Cucumber Salad with Fresh Dill from Pinch My Salt
Spicy Chinese Cucumber Salad from Use Real Butter
Thai Cucumber Salad from Cookin' Canuck
Chickpea and Cucumber Salad with Dried Cherries and Cheese from Green Lite Bites
Estonian Cucumber Salad from Nami Nami
Cucumber and Zucchini Carpaccio from White on Rice Couple
Thai Cucumber Salad from Budget Bytes

(This recipe was originally submitted to Sweetnicks ARF/5-A-Day, a weekly event designed to get people to eat more fruits, vegetables, and anti-oxidant rich foods.)
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15 comments:

christine said...

I wouldn't have thought of combining balsamic vinegar with mayonnaise Kalyn. Now I will! Nice recipe.

lteel said...

kaylyn--I can't wait to try this pesto recipe. I am surprised there were no pine nuts in the mixture!? Lt

Kalyn said...

Christine, thanks. It was really quite yummy.

Linda meant to leave that comment on the recipe for Sun Dried Tomato Pesto, but no worries. I guess I'm not sold on the idea of pine nuts in pesto. The nuts are ok, but not totally necessary in my humble opinion.

Mimi said...

I make a very similar salad, using pear-infused balasamic vinegar and red onions. But I will try yours — a little variation is good!

sher said...

That looks delicious! I always look for new ways to fix cucumbers. Great picture too!

Kalyn said...

Mimi, I like the idea of red onions in this a lot.

Sher, it was a keeper for sure.

Stephanie A. said...

Yesterday was my first day on SBD and I decided to add this to my dinner. It was SOOOO tasty! I love my cukes, but my DH always turns them down. However, he ate these and asked if he could take the leftovers to work for lunch today.

Thanks for this recipe and so far I've found your site so useful.

Kalyn said...

Stephanie, thanks so much for the feedback, it means a lot to me. I did love this salad, especially for so few ingredients. Good luck on South Beach.

Anonymous said...

Hello Kalyn,
I am so happy to discover your wonderful blog.
I have tried some of the recipes and love how easy they are to make thanks to your instructions.
Sending you beautiful thoughts and + vibes from Paris, France.
Brigitte
http://www.myspace.com/brigittebeling

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Great timing! I just bought a large package of the small Persian cucumbers at the market yesterday. Not quite as good as garden-fresh, but still pretty tasty.

Debby@Just Breathe said...

This sounds delicious. I am growing cucumbers so hopefully I will be able to try this soon!

Paz said...

Wow! The dressing is very intriguing-sounding.

Kelly said...

I have used a few of your recipes now and I just love them all!!!

Kalyn said...

Thanks for the nice feedback everyone.

Kelly, glad you're enjoying the recipes.

Trish said...

This looks so yummy! Now I wish I would have planted some cucumbers! I guess I'll just have to make a vendor at the farmer's market happy :)

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