This simple Chopped Cucumber Dill salad pairs well with grilled entrees and is perfect for parties and potlucks. Make extra as leftovers are delicious!
I'm feeling a bit torn over these waning days of summer. There's so much I love about this season; warm, sunny days, a more casual lifestyle, flip flops, tank tops and the wonderful, unending parade of beautiful summer produce. Dishes like this Chopped Cucumber Dill Salad have been frequent flyers on our menu for weeks on end, as Scott's garden has supplied us with baskets and baskets full of cucumbers, tomatoes, eggplants, green beans, peppers of all genres, as well as a plethora of fresh herbs.
As much as all this summer bounty has thrilled me, I'm also looking forward to the change of pace that fall will bring. I love pumpkin patches, harvest moons, soup, cool mornings and daytime walks. Daytime walks? Yes, here in North Carolina you honestly stay in the house a lot of the summer. With a long string of temps in the mid to upper 90's and super high humidity levels, most folks don't venture out of the house except for early morning walks, runs and bike rides. Now if you have a pool or a lake to jump into, that's a different story!
But back to this wonderful Chopped Cucumber Dill Salad. It's been a summer favorite here at The Café, but guess what? It's a salad that can be enjoyed all year long. Unlike tomatoes, great cucumbers can be found at most grocers all year long. Other ingredients in the salad are: red cabbage, red onion, tiny frozen peas and Feta cheese. Oh, and dill, lots of beautiful, feathery, fresh dill. All of these ingredients are readily available all year long.
This pretty salad is a delicious and healthy option for parties, potlucks and covered dish dinners. I always hope to find something light and fresh among the casseroles, pasta salads, fried chicken and Hawaiian dinner rolls!
Chopping, the easy way
The only thing that takes a bit of time with this salad is chopping the veggies. To make things quick and easy, I use my Vidalia Chopper for the cucumber, onion and cabbage. It makes quick work of most veggies and I find myself reaching for it over and over these days. It's very reasonably priced and the company recently came out with a heavier duty version, for the same cost.
Once you've got the veggies chopped, the dressing for this Chopped Cucumber Dill Salad can be put together in less than 5 minutes. It's my Zoe's Copycat Dressing and you probably have everything you need for it right in your pantry. The directions are simple: combine all ingredients in a glass jar, screw the lid on tight and shake, shake, shake. That's it!
A squeeze of fresh lemon juice right before serving is the bright, finishing touch. It just gives an extra dose of pizazz to an already super delicious salad!
See how the onions are a beautiful magenta color? I give them a quick pickling while I prepare the rest of the salad. How does that work? Simply place the chopped onions in a bowl with a splash of vinegar and a pinch of salt and sugar, then cover with water. The magic transformation begins within minutes and all you have to do is drain them and add these pretty little jewels to your salad.
Make a list and pick up the ingredients when you shop this week. This Chopped Cucumber Dill Salad is fabulous on a hot summer day but it's also a wonderful way to bring summer to your table all year long!
Café Tips for making this Chopped Cucumber Dill Salad
- This salad can be made in advance and actually gets better as the flavors meld. Wait until just before serving, however, to add the peas to ensure they keep that gorgeous bright green color.
- If I made this salad ahead of time, I like to add extra chopped dill as a garnish, just before serving.
- Try to keep all of your chopped veggies about the same size for a pretty presentation. Another reason I love to use my Vidalia Chopper!
- Although the peas will lose their vibrant color a bit, this salad makes wonderful leftovers as there's no lettuce to wilt.
- The Zoe's dressing recipe will make more than you need for this salad, but it's wonderful to have stashed in the fridge for easy, quick, delicious salads on the go. And while it’s perfect for greens, it also works drizzled on grilled chicken or shrimp. I almost always have a jar of it tucked away.
- For the pickled red onions:
- ¼ cup white wine vinegar
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- ½ cup chopped red onion
- For the salad:
- 2 cups chopped cucumber
- 1 ½ cups tiny frozen peas thawed
- 1 ½ cups chopped red cabbage
- ½ cup crumbled Feta cheese more for garnish, if desired
- ½ cup roughly chopped fresh dill more for garnish, if desired
- 3-4 tablespoons Zoe's Copycat Dressing
- fresh lemon juice
For the pickled red onions, combine vinegar, water, salt and sugar in a medium size bowl. Add onions and more water, if needed to cover. Set aside.
For the salad, drain the pickled red onions. Combine red onions, cucumbers, peas, red cabbage, Feta cheese and dill in a serving bowl. Add 3 tablespoons Zoe’s Dressing and 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice. Stir gently to combine. Taste and season with salt, pepper, more Zoe's and/or more lemon juice, if needed.
Garnish with a little more Feta and chopped fresh dill, if desired.
See Café Tips above in post. Nutritional information below does not include Zoe's Dressing. See Zoe's Copycat Dressing post for nutritional information on dressing.
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