This raw cucumber zucchini salad with a lemon basil vinaigrette is a fun and healthy way to enjoy the fresh flavors of summer.
Every summer is farmers market heaven in West Michigan. On the weekends, I sneak out early so that I can beat the crowds and stroll the stands. The farmers pretty much know me by name with how often I come and ogle over the beautiful fresh produce. If you’re also a frequent farmers market attendee, then you might be looking for a new recipe to use up some of those gorgeous veggies. My Zucchini Cucumber Salad is fresh and tangy, with a delicious homemade lemon basil vinaigrette. It might just be the perfect summer salad.
- Zucchini: Super high in antioxidants, when eaten raw, zucchini is very mild in flavor and slightly sweet.
- Cucumber: Cucumber is crunchy, juicy, and usually sweet in taste.
- Arugula: Also called garden rocket, it’s a little bit tart and peppery, which complements the more sweet cucumber and zucchini.
- Cherry tomatoes: Juicy and slightly sweet, they add a lovely pop of color to the salad as well.
- Lemon juice: Fresh, acidic, and bright citrus flavor that adds to the salad dressing.
- Olive oil: Paired with the lemon juice, olive oil helps set the base for the dressing of the salad.
- Basil: Fragrant and almost minty in taste, with the lemon and Dijon it adds flavor to the dressing that balances out some of the sweeter ingredients.
- Dijon: Gives the dressing just a little bit of a kick, and it pairs well with the basil and arugula.
How to Make Cucumber Zucchini Salad
Start your cucumber zucchini salad by washing your produce and then slicing your cucumber and zucchini into thin slices. I find there are two easy ways to do this, one is using a mandolin.
Or you can also use a vegetable peeler to get the same effect.
Once your zucchini and cucumber are all sliced, add them to a large bowl.
Then add the arugula on top.
And add the halved cherry tomatoes next.
Then to start your dressing, add the fresh lemon juice. You could also mix the vinaigrette in a separate bowl, but I like to make it right on top of the salad.
After the lemon juice, drizzle in the olive oil.
Followed by a bit of Dijon.
Add the minced basil and season with salt and black pepper to taste.
Toss it all together until everything is evenly coated in the dressing.
Serve and enjoy your Cucumber Zucchini Salad!
Shake It Up
- Add more veggies. You can spice things up by adding some red onion, or give it more of a Mediterranean vibe by adding black olives.
- Change the dressing. To give the vinaigrette more of a punch, you could add balsamic vinegar, or increase the citrus flavor with some lemon zest before juicing your lemon. You could also add more fresh herbs like dill or parsley.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How do you keep cucumbers crispy?
Don’t cut them too far in advance before making the salad. Keep them clean and dry in a ventilated space before using them.
What kind of cucumber do you not have to peel?
While you can eat the peel of any cucumber, sometimes the peel is quite thick and a tad bitter. English cucumbers and Armenian cucumbers tend to have a thinner skin, making them more pleasant to eat raw and unpeeled.
Is it healthier to eat zucchini raw or cooked?
As with most fruits or vegetables, zucchini is healthier raw, as cooking it cooks out some of the vitamins.
More Summer Salads
- Fruit Salad with Honey Yogurt Dressing
- Mediterranean Chopped Salad
- Greek Herb Salad with Feta
- Strawberry Arugula Salad
- Easy Cabbage Coleslaw with Honey Lime Dressing
Eat It, Like It, Share It!
Did you try this dish and love it? The next time you make it, snap a picture and share it to your socials! Tag @thelemonbowl and #thelemonbowl so we can admire and share your dish.
The perfect summer side, this cool and crisp Cucumber Zucchini Salad will satisfy your family while helping you clear out that bottom drawer of your fridge.
Your fork is waiting.
Cucumber Zucchini Salad
- 1 medium zucchini
- 1 medium cucumber
- 2 cups arugula
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes (halved)
- 1 juice of lemon
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil (minced)
- 1 teaspoon dijon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- In the bottom of a medium bowl, whisk together the lemon basil vinaigrette: lemon juice through pepper.
- Trim both ends of the zucchini and use a vegetable peeler to create long, wide ribbons. I find that it’s easiest to place the zucchini flat on a cutting board and peel the vegetable horizontally.
- Repeat the same process with a cucumber and place both the zucchini and cucumber ribbons in the bowl on top of the vinaigrette.
- Add arugula and cherry tomatoes to the bowl and toss well until vegetables are evenly coated with the vinaigrette. Check for seasoning and adjust accordingly.