Dress up a salad in minutes with this easy tutorial on how to make cucumber flowers. Plus a recipe for the best cucumber salad ever!
I've been having fun making salads this spring with these pretty cucumbers. It's not a fancy technique, but they make a splashy statement in a salad. There's always lots of oohs and aahs when I serve a salad with these cheerful little cukes. I've learned a few tips in the process of figuring out how to make cucumber flowers, so thought I'd share them with you.
As a bonus, I'm also sharing a salad recipe that features these cucumber flowers. The salad has an Asian inspiration with a super simple ingredient list of rice vinegar, fresh ginger sugar and a pinch of salt. It's super fresh and delicious and I've been eating my weight in it. The good news? This salad is super low in calories, so I won't be adding any weight by indulging in it.
It's crazy that a salad with so few ingredients could have that much flavor. We've enjoyed it so much I decided it deserved a superlative name, so I'm calling it The Best Cucumber Salad.
How to make cucumber flowers
Making the cucumber flowers is simple, but you might want to buy one or two extra, just for practice. You will be making ¼-inch deep V-shaped ridges around the circumference of the cucumber. Here are a few simple tips with pictures to demonstrate the technique.
First of all, wash the cucumbers well and trim off both ends. Then, cut each cucumber in half, widthwise or into approximately 4-inch sections (if your cucumbers are very long).
Next, place one cucumber half on a work surface. Using a sharp, medium-length knife, make ¼-inch deep cut, the length of the cucumber at a 45˚angle. (I like to rest the back side of the knife on my fingers for stability.) Then make another cut, about ¼ inch from the first one. This cut will also be at 45˚ degrees, but it will be towards the first cut and will form a small V-shaped wedge that can be removed.
Continue making these V-shaped cuts, about ½-inch apart, all the way around the circumference of the cucumber. You should end up with 5 or 6 V-shaped slices, depending on the circumference of the cucumber. Don't worry if they're not perfectly spaced. Flowers in nature aren't perfect either.
Slice the cucumbers into thin or thick slices, whatever you prefer. For my Best Cucumber Salad, I cut them into approximately ⅛-inch slices.
Use these pretty cucumbers in any salad that you would add sliced cucumbers to, or let them star in a salad of their own, like this Best Cucumber Salad. Either way, these cucumber flowers will make everyone smile!
Café Tips on How to Make Cucumber Flowers
- It's best to use English or Persian cucumbers for these cucumber flowers. They're both seedless and have a firm texture, making them perfect for cucumber flowers. English cucumbers are the large, long cukes that you often find shrink-wrapped in plastic at the grocery store. Persian cucumbers are also seedless but are much smaller in size, and usually come in a bag or on a little tray covered with plastic wrap.
- Look for small to medium size English (seedless) cucumbers for pretty size cucumber flowers. If using the mini Persian cucumbers, look for larger ones as the really small, slender ones will be harder to cut.
- Don't make your cuts too deep or the flowers will fall apart when you slice the cucumbers. Around ¼ inch is perfect.
- It's much easier to make the cuts with smaller lengths of cucumbers rather than leaving them whole.
- Sometimes I save the little wedges that are removed to make the cucumber flowers, add a little dressing to them and enjoy them later in the day. It's like my own little julienne cucumber salad.
- Start practicing because you're going to want to have this technique mastered for a wonderful salad coming up:
Café Tips on making The Best Cucumber Salad
- This salad can be made early in the day or even a day in advance. The cucumbers will stay crunchy for several days.
- You can make a double or triple batch of the dressing and store it in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. When you're craving this Best Cucumber Salad, all you have to do is slice a few cucumbers and an onion.
- Sometimes I add finely chopped red bell pepper to this salad and some finely chopped cilantro - also very delicious and pretty!
If you make this Best Cucumber Salad, please share your results and leave a review below. I love it when a recipe has lots of reviews from readers. It really helps me determine whether I want to make it or not. If you make it and add your own touches, we'd love to hear about that too!
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This Best Cucumber Salad has an Asian inspiration with a super simple ingredient list of rice vinegar, fresh ginger sugar and a pinch of salt. The flower-cut cucumbers will add a fun, fancy look to the salad!
- ¼ cup unseasoned rice vinegar
- 4 teaspoons sugar
- ½ teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 medium English seedless cucumbers, or 6-8 medium-size Persian cucumbers
- ¼ medium red onion sliced thinly
Combine the rice vinegar, sugar, fresh ginger and salt in a medium-size bowl. Stir until sugar is dissolved.
Sliced cucumbers into ⅛-inch thick slices or use technique above in the post to cut cucumbers into flower-shaped slices.
Combine the dressing with cucumbers and sliced onions. Stir gently. Refrigerate for at least one hour or longer. Can be made a day in advance. Keeps well in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
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