Let’s clear up a few things about this cucumber salad. First of all, it’s Gaby’s Mom’s recipe, but we’re calling it Gaby’s for short.
Second, it’s the most delicious cucumber salad I’ve ever met. Somehow, crisp cucumber, creamy avocado and a super basic balsamic dressing create a stellar cucumber salad.
This recipe comes from Gaby Dalkin’s new cookbook, What’s Gaby Cooking: Everyday California Recipes. Perhaps you know Gaby’s blog, which has the same name. I’m always admiring Gaby’s simple, colorful, fresh-from-the-farmers’-market recipes.
The Best Cucumber Salad Recipe
Here’s what Gaby says about this salad: “My mom made this salad just about every night when I was growing up. It was so yummy that I’d eat half the bowl before we even sat down for dinner, even though I’d get yelled at for not saving any for my dad and sister… Now it’s my go-to side salad, and my husband eats half of it before we sit down for dinner.”
Here’s what I have to say about this salad: I’ve demolished this cucumber salad all on my own in one sitting. I want to plant Persian cucumbers in my garden so I can eat cucumber salad all summer long. I’d grow an avocado tree if I could—well, I’d grow an avocado tree for many reasons. Anyway, it’s that good.
Cucumber Salad Tips
- I found Persian cucumbers at Trader Joe’s. They’re smaller in diameter, extra-crisp, and less seedy and watery than regular old cucumbers. If you can’t find them, opt for English cucumbers, which are similar in texture.
- Don’t overdo the garlic in this recipe, or it will overwhelm the other flavors (speaking from experience here). Two small-to-medium cloves or one large clove will be just right.
- No need to bust out your thick, expensive balsamic vinegar for this recipe. Regular balsamic will do great.
- This recipe is best served immediately, since the avocado browns over time. However, if you toss it well, you can refrigerate leftovers for a few hours.
- Gaby suggested tossing in arugula and cherry tomatoes, if you want this salad to go further. I added a chopped radish mostly for color, honestly, but it’s also nice and springy.
I got so excited about this salad that I made a couple more of her simple side dishes from her book the other night, her charred sugar snap peas and Omi’s haricots verts salad. They were both so easy and so tasty.
I’m dying to make her Cobb salads for all seasons, poblano scallion queso and green rice burrito bowl. The book isn’t vegetarian, but I found lots of recipes to make in there.
If you’re looking for fresh recipes to make on the grill this summer and appealing fresh comfort food, I think you’ll really enjoy What’s Gaby Cooking.
Gaby’s Cucumber SaladCourse: SaladsCuisine: Californian
Gaby’s cucumber salad recipe is the best cucumber salad I’ve ever had! It’s made with crisp cucumber and creamy avocado tossed in a simple balsamic vinegar dressing. Recipe yields 4 servings.
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 small-to-medium cloves garlic, pressed or minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 ripe avocado, pitted and sliced or diced
4 Persian cucumbers or 2 medium English cucumbers (12 ounces), thinly sliced
Optional additions: 1 to 2 cups arugula, ½ cup halved cherry tomatoes, and/or 1 to 2 chopped radishes
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and garlic until blended. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the avocado and cucumbers to the bowl and toss to combine. Season with additional salt and pepper if necessary. Serve immediately.