Smashed Cucumber Salad

5 minutes prep (plus 20 minutes rest) 5 minutes total
Makes 2 - 4 servings

Originally published in Willamette Week July 26, 2022

This technique for cucumber salad is on regular rotation during the warm weeks of summer when we're loath to do too much actual cooking. It's very easy, very fast, and endlessly adaptable. Persian cucumbers work best, and feel free to add whatever you want to punch up the flavor: swap the olive oil for sesame oil, or add fresh herbs, hot peppers, tomatoes, feta cheese, etc.

What You'll Need


For the shopping list

  • Enough thin-skinned, Persian-style cucumbers to yield about 4 cups (5-6 cukes)
  • 6-8 sprigs of mint, chopped

From our shop

1/2 teaspoon + more to taste teaspoon of  Kosher Sea Salt
$9.00– Gossen Island - Norway
2 tablespoons of  Moscatel Vinegar
$16.00– Andalucia - Spain
(or any good vinegar you have laying around!)
Out of stock

Healthy glug  Novo Frantoio
$27.00– Tuscany - Italy


From the kitchen

  • 1 Produce Bag
  • 1 cast iron skillet, rolling pin or empty wine bottle
  • 1 Chef's Knife
  • 1 Cutting Board
  • 1 Mixing Bowl
  • 1 Sieve or Colander
  • Measuring Spoons

What you'll have to do

Step 1

Trim any stems from the cucumbers, place them in a plastic produce bag, and smash them with something heavy (a small cast iron skillet, rolling pin, empty wine bottle, or similar blunt force object). Dump the smashed cukes onto a cutting board and use a large knife to cut them into bite-sized pieces.

Step 2

Transfer to a colander placed over a bowl, toss with 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and let drain for 20 minutes (pro tip: the slightly salty cucumber water is good for cocktails, try it with a little gin). Transfer the drained cucumbers to a bowl and toss with the rest of the ingredients. Taste and add more salt as needed. Serve chilled.

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