Side Dish Sundays: Smashed Cucumber Salad with Sesame.
I’m about to make you fall in love with this smashed cucumber salad!
I interrupt our regularly scheduled programming to bring you another side dish – one that’s perfect for hot summer days.
Seriously, this might become your new go-to snack. Appetizer. Lunch. Dinner side dish!
Eddie is very anti-cucumber, and to be honest, until fairly recently? So was I. I wasn’t completely against it – like, I’d eat it in a salad and wouldn’t pick it out. But cucumbers are one veggie Eddie doesn’t like one bit, so that means more for me.
I first saw a smashed cucumber salad in bon appetit. It looked and sounded incredible – made with hot vinegar and lots of delicious flavors. I was obsessed with it.
And this is so easy too. First, you literally use a knife or a meat tenderizer and smash the cucumbers. After that, you let them sit for a bit covered in salt and sugar. While that’s happening, you whip up this dressing and then combine everything. As a result, the flavor is off the charts.
It’s embarrassingly easy, as you can see. However, it’s also really flavorful, and something I wasn’t eating until this year!
I’ve definitely been missing out.
There are a few ways you can enjoy this smashed cucumber salad…
First, by itself with just… the cucumbers. I’ve found myself even eating it as a snack! The cucumbers are super refreshing when it’s hot out and they are also packed with water. Bonus! It also works as a great super simple side dish to a summer meal.
Next, if you want to bulk things up a bit and make this dish more satisfying, add in some avocado. Again, I use this as a snack, a side dish OR even my dinner if we’ve had a big lunch or I’m just not that hungry.
And finally, you could toss in some rotisserie (or leftover!) chicken for an easy, fast lunch. Or shrimp! Or beans. Whatever you’d like.
This is what I love to serve with the smashed cucumber salad:
This salad goes with everything! It’s especially delish in the hot summer months because it’s so refreshing and cooling. However, it definitely works in cooler months too. I love it as a quick snack. And it comes together so quickly. These are my top picks for serving.
- 6 to 8 mini cucumbers
- 1 pinch of kosher salt
- 1 pinch of sugar
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon tamari, soy sauce or coconut aminos
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ lime, juiced
- 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 avocado, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoons chopped chives
- chive blossoms, for garnish
Cut the cucumbers into pieces (some in half, some lengthwise, whatever you want!) and use a jar or meat tenderizer to smash each piece, gently and most of the time, just once. You can discard any seeds that come out, but place all the cucumber pieces in a large strainer. Set the strainer over a bowl. Sprinkle on a generous pinch of salt and sugar, and toss the cucumbers. If you want, you can place a bowl (or something heavy!) on top of the cucumbers to help press out the water. Let the cucumbers sit for 30 minutes at room temperature.
In a bowl, whisk together the vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, honey, garlic, lime juice and red pepper flakes until combined. I find that I don’t need salt in this dressing because of the soy sauce, but you may want to taste it and add a pinch of salt if needed.
Drain the cucumbers and place them in a large bowl. Add in the avocado. Pour on the dressing and toss well to combine. Sprinkle on the sesame seeds, chive and chive blossoms. Serve immediately!
Can’t get enough of these chive blossoms.