Light and crisp cucumber salad made with thinly sliced fresh cucumbers, lemon zest, lemon juice, vinegar, and fresh dill weed. Such a flavorful side dish that is also light and refreshing. It’s perfect for picnics and potlucks and can easily be made ahead of time.
My absolute favorite side dish growing up was cucumber tomato salad made with vegetables that we picked from the garden. My grandparents had a green house for tomatoes and cucumbers and there is nothing like the scent of cucumbers and tomatoes hitting you in the face when you first open the green house in the morning.
I’ve taken all my favorite flavors from the salad that my grandmother used to make and transferred it into the cucumber salad. It might be the simplest side dish but it’s bursting with flavor. Lemon, dill, and vinegar makes this cucumber salad taste big without any effort at all.
The most effort that goes into preparing this salad is slicing the cucumbers. If you have a mandoline slicer, it will take you two minutes to slice all the cucumbers. I highly recommend using the slicer because it’s so fast and all the slices come out even.
INGREDIENTS IN LEMON DILL CUCUMBER SALAD
Cucumbers – choose any cucumbers for your cucumber salad. Cucumbers are the star of the dish so make sure you like the taste of each cucumber. Take a slice from each one and taste it before adding to the salad. Yes, there can be 1 bitter cucumber in a batch and it will affect the taste of the salad.
Lemons – pick ripe, juicy lemons that will give you the best flavor and the most juice. If the lemons are too hard, it’s not ripe yet and will not give you much juice and flavor.
Vinegar – white balsamic vinegar is the best one for this salad because it’s light, crisp, and fruity. White balsamic adds great vinegar flavor without overpowering other ingredients. (If you need to substitute it, use white wine vinegar.)
Oil – choose mild tasting olive oil. Make sure to taste your olive oil first because some olive oil can have quite a bitter taste. If that is the case, choose grape seed oil or even canola oil.
Dill Weed – use fresh dill weed instead of dried. The flavor of fresh dill weed is so much stronger and more aromatic.
Salt – of course, salt will bring all the flavor together so don’t forget it.
HOW TO MAKE CUCUMBER SALAD
The easiest and fastest way to slice cucumbers is to use a mandoline. Cut one tip of the cucumber and slice each cucumber starting at the cut end. Make sure to use the holder to protect your hands. Place sliced cucumbers into a large mixing bowl.
In a small bowl, combine lemon juice, lemon zest, vinegar, oil, dill weed, and salt. Whisk it all together and add the mixture to the cucumbers. Mix cucumbers with the dressing until all evenly coated. Make sure to taste to see if you need to add more salt.
Store cucumber salad in refrigerator until ready to use.
CAN I MAKE CUCUMBER SALAD AHEAD OF TIME?
Absolutely! I actually encourage making this cucumber salad ahead of time, even if it’s just a couple of hours. Letting the cucumbers sit in the dressing mixture will infuse them with lots of flavor.
This cucumber salad can be made ahead as little a 2 hours or as much as 1 day. I wouldn’t make it ahead any more than a day because the cucumbers will start to get softer. Make sure to mix the salad well before servings.
HOW TO STORE CUCUMBER SALAD
Store leftover cucumber salad in an air-tight container with a lid, in the refrigerator. Cucumber salad will last 3-4 days in the refrigerator but the cucumbers will start to get a little softer after 2 days.
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Lemon Dill Cucumber Salad
- 3 lbs cucumbers
- 2 ripe lemons - zest and juice
- 3 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup fresh dill weed minced
- Make sure to wash cucumbers before making the salad.
- Slice cucumbers thinly. (Best and easiest way to slice cucumbers is to use a mandoline slicer.)
- Place sliced cucumbers into a large mixing bowl.
- In a small bowl, combine lemon juice, lemon zest, vinegar, oil, dill weed, and salt. Whisk it all together and add the mixture to the cucumbers.
- Mix cucumbers with the dressing until all evenly coated. Make sure to taste to see if you need to add more salt.
- Store cucumber salad in refrigerator, in an air-tight container, until ready to use.