There’s been a common theme in my house recently, of meals that require no heat to make. No roasting, sauteing, boiling, frying… nothing. The less heat, and less work required, the better. Which means tubs of ice cream are my best friend, but also, vegetables, because balance. Too hot to cook + lazy = noshing on whole cucumbers and calling it a meal.
Side note: have you ever noticed how thirst quenching it is to eat a cucumber? They’re like edible water bottles. Wait a minute… you guys… EDIBLE WATER BOTTLES. Why haven’t we done this yet?! Saving the environment by eating things? Yes please! (Okay, be honest with me, am I a genius or does this already exist and I’m just late to the party? Because, really, that’s usually the case, or else I’d be mega rich from inventing all kinds of things that already exist.)
But I digress — let’s get back to the vegetables, here.
I am a huge fan of eating veggies just as they are, but let’s face it, they get boring pretty quick. Enter, cucumber salad. But not just any ol’ cucumber salad — spiralized, noodly, sweet and tangy sesame vinaigrette cucumber salad.
This is one of those things you can throw together on a daily basis, because besides the cucumber, everything in it is just a pantry staple. Crunchy, refreshing, flavorful, and it doesn’t threaten my chances of winning laziest person of the year award? Score!
If zucchini noodles are called zoodles, does that make cucumber noodles… coodles? Cukels?
If you don’t have a spiralizer, you could certainly slice your cucumbers into thin strips or rounds instead… but trust me, cumboodles are far more fun to eat. (Okay, seriously, we need a better name for these. Got suggestions? Leave ’em in the comments.)
Update: for those of you wanting to know (I get asked all the time) this is the spiralizer I use: Paderno World Cuisine Spiral Vegetable Slicer. I chose this one because it comes with multiple blades, which store within the unit itself. It’s a little bit bulky for storing, but so far I’ve been happy with it!
I wasn’t joking when I said I’ve been eating whole cucumbers as a snack, but now, this salad has been my afternoon, heat-of-the-day go-to. It’s like I’m on a crazy cucumber kick. I haven’t been this obsessed since I went through my pickle phase of 1998. (Kosher dill for the win, yo!)
I recently met someone who told me, they don’t *like* cucumbers. Wha’? How is that possible? I want to know, do you like cucumbers, and if so, what’s your favorite way to eat them?
And if not… have you tried this cucumber salad?
- 2 english or hothouse cucumbers, chilled
- 2 large carrots
- 1 tsp. Kosher salt
- 2 TBSP rice vinegar
- 1 TBSP fresh lime juice (about half a lime)
- 2-3 TBSP honey, to taste
- 1 tsp. Toasted sesame oil
- pinch of red pepper flakes, to taste
- ½-1 TBSP toasted sesame seeds (I used white and black, but either would work fine on their own)
- 1 scallion, sliced
- 2 TBSP fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
- If you have a spiralizer, use it to cut the cucumbers and carrots into long noodles. (My carrots weren't big enough to fit in my spiralizer, so I used a jullienne peeler instead -- if you don't have a spiralizer, a tool like this will do in a pinch, or you can slice the carrots and cucumber thinly with a knife.)
- Place the spiralized cucumber into a strainer and toss with 1 tsp. kosher salt. Let the cucumber drain for 15-20 minutes to remove excess water.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl or glass measuring cup, whisk together the vinegar, lime juice, honey, sesame oil, red pepper flakes, and sesame seeds.
- Once the cucumber has drained for a bit, spread it onto a layer of paper towels, or a clean dish towel, and gently pat out as much moisture as you can. Place the "noodles" into a large bowl, and add 2-3 TBSP dressing, to coat. Toss to combine, then garnish with additional sesame seeds, sliced scallions, and fresh cilantro. Serve immediately. (Leftover salad can be stored in an airitight container in the fridge for up to a day, but keep in mind that the cucumber will continue to release excess water as it sits. If your salad becomes soupy, you can drain the water from the bottom of the bowl before eating.)
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