When cucumbers are in season, it takes everything in my power to not combine them with tomatoes for every salad (like this sumac chickpea salad). Then I remember that I can make a refreshing, beautiful salad without the pop of red. I originally threw this cucumber quinoa salad together with ingredients I happen to have in my mother’s kitchen, while all my belongings were packed up on a truck headed to California. It’s a rough approximation that has changed over the years, primarily swapping balsamic for a lighter, crisper champagne vinegar. If you’re looking to make this salad ahead of time, wait to combine the cucumbers with the spinach until right before serving.
- 1 medium cucumber, 1/2" diced
- 4 scallions, minced
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 2 ounces feta
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoon champagne vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups chopped baby spinach
- In a medium bowl, combine the diced cucumber, scallion, quinoa, and feta.
- In a jar with a lid, shake together olive oil, vinegar, and salt. Pour over quinoa, mix well, and let sit until ready to serve.
- Toss with spinach just before serving.
Step by Step
Cucumber Quinoa Salad
I originally made this salad without the addition of the spinach but the salad felt a little lacking. You could easily add a variety of summer produce to this salad or a handful of herbs. Make the quinoa ahead of time for quick assembly.
Grains: I primarily used quinoa for it’s quick cooking but I also love this salad with a chewier sorghum or the flavor of buckwheat. If you’re not looking to have this salad be gluten-free, use freekeh or bulgur.
Greens: Spinach isn’t always in season with cucumbers, so try using a heartier green like kale or even chard.
Vegan: Swap out the feta for tofu- you can make a mock feta.
July is my favorite time to let cucumbers really shine. Most of the time I usually toss them in my salads as a secondary thought but as evident with this cucumber quinoa salad, they can be the star. There’s usually a few different varieties at the market. I love the slightly sweet Persian cucumbers.
Originally Posted on May 6th, 2013. Last updated on July 3rd, 2016.