Crunchy and refreshing, cucumbers are the ultimate summer bite. Enjoy them in these sides, cool soups, and more
Intensely flavorful Chinese sausage is worth seeking out for this salad. If you can’t find it, bacon also pairs well with the sweet cucumbers and peanut dressing.
Recipe: Cucumber and Noodle Salad
Yogurt drinks are popular across the Middle East and South Asia. We like ours with puréed cucumber and herbs, plus a spritz of club soda. If the cucumber peels and seeds are tender, they don’t need to be removed.
Recipe: Cucumber Smoothies
This riff on Spain’s classic tangy-sweet “white” gazpacho is made with Persian cucumbers, which are tender enough to use peel and all. (If you can’t find them, substitute peeled English cucumbers.) The drizzle of olive oil at the end brings the flavors together, so use the best oil in your pantry.
Recipe: Grape and Cucumber Gazpacho
Cooked cucumber? Trust us. A little heat makes it slightly creamy and helps it soak up the gently seasoned pickling mixture. Thin-skinned cucumber is a must here for its tender texture and bright color.
Thomas J. Story
Make the cucumber mixture ahead of time and top it off with ice and club soda (or even Champagne).
Recipes: Cucumber Mint Spritzer
Photo by Annabelle Breakey; styling by Robyn Valarik; written by Elaine Johnson
We riffed off classic bread-and-butter pickles, adding the unexpected tastes of lemongrass and coriander.
Coral von Zumwalt
For an element of surprise, spread basil purée on the plate, rather than tossing it with the other ingredients. This also helps keep the salad crisp.
Chilled cucumber soup gets revisited with this easy but highly flavorful twist to the classic. It can easily be made ahead, just chill until ready to serve.
Photo by Leo Gong; written by Stephanie Dean
Yogurt gives tang to the grilled chicken and adds creaminess to the refreshing salad without adding lots of calories.
Short on time? Whip up this crowd-pleasing appetizer in just 25 minutes. Shrimp with lemon, parsley, and garlic echoes classic shrimp scampi, but here it's a cooling salad.
Photo by Leigh Beisch; styling by Dan Becker
Chef Maria Hines of Tilth suggests pairing hot with cool. Top fish just off the grill with a refreshing salad.
Roasted beets and a crisp medley of raw vegetables make a beautiful composed salad. Add rotisserie chicken or smoked trout and you can call it dinner.
Photo by Annabelle Breakey
This yogurt-based soup — similar to cacik — is seasoned with Aleppo pepper, a chile grown in Syria and Turkey that has a smoky note.
Make it a meal: Add falafel or baked pita chips.
Recipe: Turkish Cucumber and Mint Soup
Photo by Lisa Romerein; written by Amy Machnak
The yogurt makes this salad creamy while the dill adds bursts of fresh summer flavor.
Recipe: Cucumber Potato Salad
Photo by Iain Bagwell
This Southwestern-inspired soup hits all the right notes: solid protein from the beans, crunchiness from the cucumber, creaminess from the avocado, a sweet hit of acidity from the citrus, and a hint of spice.
Photo by Iain Bagwell; written by Amy Machnak
We put the shrimp on the skewer tail first so that you can cook them on the grill, then easily remove and eat the shrimp. The cucumber salad is cool and refreshing.
This simplified version of Spanish gazpacho is a light, refreshing way to use the very ripest tomatoes.
Recipe: Tomato-Cucumber Gazpacho
Photo by Leo Gong
Believe it or not, this salad improves after a few hours in the refrigerator. The dressing works its way into the peas, cucumbers, and radishes, the flavors meld, and the vegetables become sweeter.
Recipe: Icebox Salad