Friday, June 15, 2012

Summery Armenian Cucumber Salad

It's summer, it's hot so what better way to cool off than a refreshing cucumber salad? I love cucumbers in most any way. Pickled, sprinkled with salt, lime juice and chili powder, in salads, soups. Whatever, I love them!

What's even better, they have great health benefits! They contain lignans that have a history of research in connection with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, as well as certain types of cancer, breast, uterine, prostate. When unpeeled cucumbers are high in potassium, vitamin C, and folic acid. Sounds fantastic to me! It's also said they not only help with sunburns but they are a bit of a rejuvenator, with slices of cucumber on your eyes you feel fresh and youthful. I've tried it, have you? It's quite refreshing actually.

On Tuesday we picked up our CSA loot and in it was a cucumber I had not previously heard of, Armenian cucumber. It's rather large with looks like scored light green skin. It was curved and heavy. Reminded me of a melon actually. I suppose that makes sense as cucumbers fall in the melon family. I was intrigued.

Doesn't look like any cucumber I've ever seen but beautiful!

Cutting open the cucumber filled the air with a wonderfully fragrant cucumber sent. Better than any candle you could buy and more fragrant than regular cucumbers. It smelled like summer! Crisp, clean, refreshing!  The seeds inside are quite large and I do suggest removing them before preparing your salad. They are simple to remove using a spoon. 

Juicy! The flesh has a little different texture than regular cucumbers. 
I decided to use this cucumber to make a refreshing summer salad. With Father's Day coming up on Sunday why not make a salad that would go great with your BBQ?  It's light and tasty. I love the taste of fresh basil (and with my new plant why wouldn't I?) so that is an ingredient with the dressing for this scrumptious salad.

Basil plant! I'm hoping to keep it alive. I'm hard on my indoor plants for some odd reason. If I put it outside the squirrel family living in our yard will eat it.

Summery Armenian Cucumber Salad


8 cups armenian cucumber, peeling is optional, seeded, sliced, thinly, in moon shapes
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup olive oil
7 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons dill
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon dry mustard
1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1 medium garlic clove
1/2 teaspoon agave nectar
1 tablespoon fresh basil, plus some for garnish
Salt and pepper to taste


Place cut up cucumber in a large bowl with the onions. I like to add a bit of salt and pepper to taste, I guess it's habit to season the veggies before adding the dressing. This step is optional. If using just add a pinch of each. In a blender or food processer add all other ingredients, except garnish, and blend until smooth. Taste and add extra cayenne if you want more of a kick. Pour the dressing over the cucumbers and mix well. Chill for 30-60 minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh sliced basil leaves. Enjoy!!

Summery Armenian Cucumber Salad
For dinner I served up marinated portobella mushrooms, cucumber salad and sweet potato fries. It was a BIG hit. My Father-In-Law ate 3 helpings of this salad alone. I think he liked it! 

What's your favorite Father's Day BBQ dish? 

I know I'll be making more for this Sunday's BBQ. 

Cheers and happy eating!

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  1. That salad looks delish! I'll say your salad was a hit (3 servings!)

    I haven't BBQed much lately, but I really love watermelon slices. THAT really makes a summer BBQ a BBQ.

    1. We definitely had watermelon for the Father's Day BBQ. So refreshing! Summer isn't summer without watermelon.