The first day of summer isn’t until June 21 this year, but it already feels like it’s in full swing in Toronto (not that I’m complaining!). It’s officially patio season and that means it’s the perfect time to start making my easy cucumber summer salad.
This recipe is so simple, but every time I make it, I get tons of compliments on the dish. If you have a pot luck or BBQ coming up, I highly recommend making this salad and taking it along – you’ll be a very popular guest!
You can jump to the recipe or read more below. Don’t forget to check out Instagram to see a picture of Buster the boxer having a summer picnic with the salad in tow, and subscribe to our newsletter so you never miss a post!
We spend a lot of time outside in the summer between our backyard oasis in Toronto and our cottage in Huntsville. We try to avoid using the oven and often opt for the grill and light, easy sides that can be thrown together quickly.
This salad is one of my favourites because it is flavourful and full of healthy ingredients. It tastes even better the next day after the dill has some time to sit, so no one will complain about leftovers (in fact, James demands I make enough to guarantee leftovers).
Cucumbers are mostly water and, as a result, very low in calories. They have potassium, have anti-aging effects (that’s why we put them on our eyes!) and have fiber in their skin (however, if you’re going to consume the skin, I’d advise buying organic).
Olive oil is primarily a monounsaturated fatty acid (the good fat), but keep in mind that it is not a high heat oil (use avocado oil or grapeseed oil for cooking instead). While it is high in calories, it can be used as a healthier replacement for butter.
Balsamic vinegar can aid digestion, improve immunity, regulate blood sugar, help circulation and act as an appetite suppressant.
Black pepper can help relieve colds, fight infections, lower blood pressure and aid digestion. Of course, it also adds an excellent flavour profile to your food!
Red onions are low in calories and sodium, plus they contain no fat or cholesterol. They have antioxidants and contain quercetin, which means they have anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. James and I both hate cutting onions, but we put them in everything anyway!
Now let’s eat some salad! What is your favourite BBQ food?
Easy Cucumber Summer Salad
This easy cucumber salad has fresh ingredients and the dill adds a unique flavour profile. It’s perfect to whip up for last minute BBQs!
This recipes serves 6.
- 2 large cucumbers, sliced
- 1 small red onion, diced
- 1 medium tomato, chopped
- 6 tablespoons of olive oil (if you’re watching your oil consumption, you can use a Misto to control how much you apply – we love our Misto)
- 2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
- Black pepper, to taste
- Fresh dill, to taste (I prefer fresh, but you can also get it out of a can)
- Chop the cucumbers in thin slices and put them in a large bowl (I don’t peel them, soak them in salt or pat them dry, but you could do any or all of those things if you wanted to. Most of us don’t need extra salt in our diets)
- Chop the tomato in small pieces and dice the onion. Add the tomato and onion into the bowl with the cucumbers
- Whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard and black pepper in a small bowl and then add to the large bowl. Shake the salad to evenly coat it and then add the dill before refrigerating for a few hours
- Options: you can use store bought dressing, but my recipe is so easy that I promise it will come together faster than you can drive to the store. Alternatively, you can skip the balsamic vinaigrette and use sour cream instead, which is another great combination with dill
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