Italian-Style Cucumber Salad
This Italian-style cucumber salad is one of the most simplistic and tasty summer dishes in my repertoire. It’s easy, and delicious too!
The thing that I love the most about the Italian style of cooking is that flavor comes first. The amazing thing about that in this recipe is that we’re actually doing a little bit of physics to ensure that our flavor is boosted to the max!
By drying the cucumber with salt, pressing the moisture out, and patting it dry, we’re removing as much liquid as we can, only to replace it with liquid of our own. This liquid that we’re adding is our basic but flavorful vinaigrette – ideal for a taste cucumber dish made in no time at all!
Even beyond the flavor, the sunflower seeds at a wonderful hit of texture, ideal for an amazing dish. If you aren’t a fan of sunflower seeds, try pumpkin seeds instead, or even small nuts like pine nuts or diced walnuts.
How To Make Italian Style Cucumber Salad
To get started, finely slice the cucumbers. I use a spiralizer whenever I make this recipe, but the choice is always yours. Any result that you can get with a spiralizer, you can certainly get with a sharp knife and some dedication. Just remember to be careful if you go with the second option!
Place the sliced cucumber in a sieve or a colander with a gentle pinch of salt – this will help to draw out some of the excess moisture. Cover the cucumber with a plate, and then top it with a heavy weight such as cans or bags of flour. Then, allow the cucumbers to drain excess water for at least thirty minutes, or up to sixty. While the moisture in cucumber is a wonderful thing on a warm day, it’s an interesting experiment to prepare cucumber in a more Italian way, where the flavor is paramount.
In a medium pot or a bowl mix together the vinegar, olive oil, sugar, and pepper. This is the makings of a basic vinaigrette – so you may have learned a new skill while making this recipe for the first time!
Transfer the cucumber onto a plate, and cover them with a couple of paper towels. Pat the cucumbers dry, but make sure to be gentle. You don’t want to punch a hole in them or leave any scraps of paper towels behind.
Place the cucumber into the serving bowl, and then toss them with the dressing that you just made. Make sure that you mix the two together well, as this is how all the flavors in the dish will come to life.
Sprinkle the sunflower seeds over the dish, and then enjoy right away! Alternatively, you can sprinkle the seeds and refrigerate them before serving. The best way to eat this dish is cold, so make sure to keep it in the fridge if you won’t be eating right away.
Italian-Style Cucumber Salad Recipe
2 Large English Cucumbers (or 6 Medium/Small)
3 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
3 tbsp Olive Oil
1 tbsp Sunflower Seeds
1 tsp Brown Sugar
1 tsp Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Pepper
1. Finely slice the cucumbers (I used a spiralizer) and place in a sieve or colander with a pinch of salt.
2. Cover with a plate and top it with a heavy weight (such as cans or flour bags).
3. Allow the cucumbers to drain excess water for at least 30 minutes (up to 60).
4. In a medium pot or bowl whisk together the vinegar, olive oil, sugar and pepper.
5. Transfer the cucumbers onto a plate covered with a couple of paper towels and pat dry.
6. Place the cucumbers in a serving bowl, pour over the dressing and toss to mix.
7. Sprinkle over the sunflower seeds and enjoy straight away or keep refrigerate before serving.
Italian Style Cucumber Salad
- Finely slice the cucumbers (I used a spiralizer) and place in a sieve or colander with a pinch of salt.
- Cover with a plate and top it with a heavy weight (such as cans or flour bags).
- Allow the cucumbers to drain excess water for at least 30 minutes (up to 60).
- In a medium pot or bowl whisk together the vinegar, olive oil, sugar and pepper.
- Transfer the cucumbers onto a plate covered with a couple of paper towels and pat dry.
- Place the cucumbers in a serving bowl, pour over the dressing and toss to mix.
- Sprinkle over the sunflower seeds and enjoy straight away or keep refrigerate before serving.
Looking for other healthy salad recipes? You might find interesting the followings:
– Chickpea and Black Bean Salad
– Italian Style Potato Salad
– Light Coleslaw Salad
– Vegan Russian Salad
– Rich and Refreshing Quinoa Salad
– Borlotti and Sundried Tomato Salad
– One Pot Quinoa & Lentil Rainbow Bowl