Cucumber Salsa for Cooling Off


This spicy cucumber salsa with a Mediterranean touch is herbaceous, somewhat spicy, and very refreshing; it will be a summer staple for sure!

This is a close-up shot of cucumber salsa served from a bowl.

From my take on game-day guac with mint and feta to ratcheting up Tomato Salsa with salty Kalamata olives, I enjoy adding a Mediterranean twist to the cuisine I’ve grown to love in Atlanta. Flavors from different backgrounds may come together in a magical way! With this recipe for Cucumber Salsa, I’m doing the exact same thing today.

If I want my summer salsa to be exceptionally refreshing, I leave out the tomatoes and let the cucumbers shine. Pistachios provide a touch of the Mediterranean and a satisfying crunch. Additionally, Aleppo pepper, which has a vibrant and somewhat smokey taste, enhances the spiciness (but regular red pepper flakes would work just as well).

Use it as a dressing for grilled chicken or salmon, or as a simple appetiser with pita chips.

Contents Table
Possible Substitutes and Ingredients for Cucumber Salsa
Highlighting Ingredients
Methods for Preparing This Delicious Cucumber Salsa

Variations to Try
Recommended Accompaniments for Cucumber Salsa
Sauces, Salsas, and More from the Mediterranean!
A Recipe for Cooling Cucumber Salsa with a Mediterranean Flavour
English cucumbers, jalapenos, aleppo peppers, shallots, cilantro, limes, olive oil, salt, and pistachios are the ingredients needed to make cucumber salsa.
Possible Substitutes and Ingredients for Cucumber Salsa

If you want a wonderful summer salsa, in my opinion, it should brighten up whatever it comes into contact with. And cucumbers are the most refreshing of all fruits. Things you’ll need include:

English cucumber: The traditional tomato is swapped out for this cucumber salsa’s foundation for an additional zesty touch. Cucumbers from England (or three or four Persian cucumbers would work just as well) have softer skin and sweeter meat. The skin is often bitter, so remove it completely if you’re using a regular slicing cucumber.

Add a significant amount of heat, particularly if you get a hot jalapeño! Keep in mind that there is always room for personalization.
Flakes of red pepper: Make it spicier, but use Aleppo pepper or Urfa Biber instead if you have any on hand. They’ll provide a subtle smokiness and a more complex taste (you can get both at our spice store).

The use of shallots imparts a subtle, non-overpowering onion taste. In this case, I think white and yellow onions are overpowering, but if shallots aren’t available, you may use green onions or half of a red onion instead.
Essential to an excellent salsa, cilantro adds a refreshing accent. If you’re not a fan of cilantro, you might try substituting dry herbs like parsley, dill, mint, or a mix of these. However, I wouldn’t recommend doing this.
Add some kosher salt to make it even better.

Any decent salsa recipe calls for lime juice for its refreshing zing. You might also use lemon juice.

To learn how to pair extra virgin olive oil with salsa, check out the “Ingredient Spotlight” section below.

Although they aren’t required, pistachios give the traditional salsa a great crunch, buttery richness, and Mediterranean touch. Another option would be to use pine nuts, walnuts, or almonds.
A view from above showing a bowl of cucumber salsa, a spoon, and several toasted baguette slices set on a tray. A dish of limes, a glass of water, and a dish towel are placed next this.

Ingredient Spotlight
Everyone has their own preferred amount of oil in salsa. Salsas made with fresh tomatoes and citrus fruits often call for oil, although this isn’t always the case across countries. You may have noticed that I like to add a little olive oil to my salsa if you’ve been around for a while.

In addition to thickening the sauce and adding healthy fats, a little olive oil gives the salsa a burst of flavor and keeps everything together. You should pay attention to the oil’s taste since low-quality oil tends to have an unpleasant bitterness and an overwhelming aroma. Pick an aromatic, high-quality extra virgin variety. Our Spanish Hojiblanca pairs well with the dish because of its powerful, peppery taste.

It’s worth a shot: Take a look at our store’s olive oil assortment, which I’ve personally selected.
A shot of toasted baguette slices resting above a dish of cucumber salsa.

Methods for Preparing This Delicious Cucumber Salsa

This recipe may be adjusted to suit your own preference. Remove the seeds from one jalapeño (they contain most of the heat) and use it as a starting point if you are concerned about the degree of spice. To get the perfect amount of salt and lime juice, you must always taste it. Follow these steps:

Cut a big English cucumber in half lengthwise to make it easier to stripe. Remove a longitudinal piece of skin beginning at one end. Peel off a second strip next to the first, skipping a bit in between each. You will have “partially peeled” or “striped” the whole cucumber if you keep peeling in this fashion, leaving strips. (A little peel adds flavor and texture to cucumbers without making them taste overbearing.)
Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise and remove its seeds. A metal spoon may be used to scrape out and remove the seeds after cutting the cucumber lengthwise; this will keep the salsa from becoming watery. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, add the cucumber pieces that have been finely chopped.
Mix. Incorporate 1–2 chopped jalapeños, ½ teaspoon of Aleppo pepper, 1–2 finely sliced shallots, 1 cup of coarsely chopped cilantro, the juice of 2 limes, a drizzle of excellent extra virgin olive oil, a hefty pinch of salt, and 2 teaspoons of chopped pistachios (if desired) into the mixing bowl. Mix by tossing. Adjust the seasoning according to your taste.In a bowl, combine all of the cucumber salsa ingredients just before mixing.
Take a seat. Serve in a bowl with your preferred chips, pita chips, or toasted baguette slices, or use as a condiment with roasted meats.A view from above showing a bowl of cucumber salsa, a spoon, and several toasted baguette slices set on a tray. Accompanying this are two glasses of water, a kitchen towel, a platter of limes, and a juicer.

Variations to Try
If you want to give it a tropical spin, more creaminess, or more brightness, try experimenting with other seasonal fruits. Consider these suggestions:

Kiwi, avocado, tomatoes, and mangoes

Arrange toasted baguette slices on a tray with cucumber salsa in a bowl and a spoon. A dish of limes, two glasses of water, and a dish towel are situated next this.

Recommended Accompaniments for Cucumber Salsa
This cucumber salsa seems to find its perfect home in every setting. As a snack, it goes well with pita chips, whether you make them at yourself or buy them. As an alternative to a traditional “cucumber Bruschetta,” it is delicious on toasted baguette pieces.

Even though we don’t really have “salsa” here in the Mediterranean, we usually just scoop up a bunch of salad and spread it over meats and pita bread like salsa. Just like this recipe, I do the same thing.

My favorite way to enjoy grilled seafood, such as swordfish or chicken breast, is with a spoonful of salsa, which brings out the smokey flavor of the grill. You may also use roasted proteins of your choosing.

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