A Cucumber Salad for Cucumber Haters

The other weekend I was going to a little cucumber-themed dinner party with some friends. Yep, cucumber-themed. Pretty specific, I know, but I love dinner parties so of course I was down. Here’s a secret, though: I really don’t like cucumbers very much. They’re one of the few foods I generally shy away from (other foods that receive that treatment from yours truly? Celery, eggplant, and licorice). I wasn’t going to be a theme-wrecker, though, so I decided to make a salad including, but not highlighting, the cukes. I also was in the mood to be healthy (if you don’t count the approximately 6 glasses of white wine I downed that night, oops).

This salad was really easy to throw together and it was a hit amongst my friends. Quinoa has always been one of my favorite grains, and it used to be considered kind of exotic, but these days it’s pretty easy to find. I combined that with fresh herbs and ruby red grapefruit (which, unlike cucumber, is one of my favorite flavors). The result? Light, fresh, sweet, sour, a bit spicy, and waaaaay too easy to eat.

Grapefruit-Cucumber Quinoa Salad

Make the salad:

2c cooked quinoa
1 cucumber, peeled and chopped into small cubes
1 large ruby red grapefruit, peeled and chopped
juice of one medium ruby red grapefruit
2 tbsp fresh mint, minced
1 tbsp fresh cilantro, minced
1/3c slivered almonds

Mix all that together.

Make the dressing:

1/2c olive oil
juice of 1 large ruby red grapefruit
juice of 1/2 lemon
1tsp cinnamon
1tsp ginger
1/4tsp cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste

Whisk together, taste and adjust the spices to your liking. Pour dressing over the salad (carefully; monitor the ratio, you might have some extra dressing) and toss. Ta-da! You can serve immediately, or let it chill in the fridge for a couple hours and the flavors will combine and intensify.

(Top Photo: La Grande Farmers’ Market)

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  • How the heck do you hate cucumbers? They don’t taste like much other than water and are the PERFECT vehicle for dips!

  • Emily May 10, 2012  

    Haha, I don’t know, I just don’t like them! Can’t help it. I think it’s the texture, actually… all watery and slimy… and the seeds too. Ugh.

    Also I respectfully disagree with you, everyone knows tortilla chips are the perfect vehicle for dips!

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