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.
An easy and fresh summer quinoa salad using cucumbers, spinach, and a tangy dressing.
- 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I originally made this salad without the addition of the spinach but the salad felt a little lacking.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.