I initially experienced this salad at a restaurant in Austin. I was immediately smitten. I love cucumber, and have made my fair share of greek salads, tabbouli, and countless other salads incorporating the vegetable. This summer, I purchased cucumber directly from a local farmer and was shocked by the flavor profile: I never thought a cucumber could be sweet, but these are in a very muted way. I’ve been purchasing them every week from the same farmer as a result, as well as the most incredible cherry tomatoes, sometimes eating them whole like a carrot straight out of the fridge. Honestly, they’re best at room temperature as are most vegetables, but they spoil too quickly for me to enjoy them that way often.
On to this recipe. If you can, go out and buy yourself baby cucumber and cherry tomatoes from your farmer’s market, preferably an organic variety. Pick up a sweet yellow onion too while you’re at it, as well as a small bunch of mint and a couple of lemons. I like to stock up on an assortment of olives from the olive bar at Whole Foods, but you can also pick some up in a jar. Just make sure they’re high quality, not the black olives you get on cheap pizza.
All you’re going to do is chop up the vegetables and mint, then drizzle with olive oil and lemon. Honestly, you can freestyle this recipe with a variety of herbs, including parsley and basil. Finish with salt and pepper to taste. I could eat bowl after bowl after bowl of the stuff, especially on hot summer days. Pair with pita bread and hummus for a more substantial meal. Now I’m hungry.
Lebanese Cucumber Salad
Ingredients – serves 4-6
- 2-8 cucumber depending on size – whatever will get you roughly 4 cups of chopped cucumber
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 1/2 c yellow onion, sliced
- 1/3 c chopped mint
- 2 T olive oil
- 1-2 lemons, juiced
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Combine all ingredients in a serving bowl. Toss to coat. Serve immediately.