Crunchy Cucumber & Apple Salad

A Crunchy Cucumber & Apple Salad is a refreshing, healthy dish that combines the crisp textures and vibrant flavors of fresh cucumbers and apples. This salad is perfect for a light lunch, a side dish, or a healthy snack. Its tangy dressing and optional toppings like nuts and feta cheese add complexity and depth to the simple ingredients. Here’s a detailed guide to making this delightful salad.



Main Ingredients:

  • 2 large cucumbers: Thinly sliced. Use English cucumbers for fewer seeds.
  • 2 apples: Thinly sliced. Granny Smith apples add a tart flavor, but you can use any variety you like.
  • 1/4 red onion: Thinly sliced. Adds a sharp, spicy flavor.
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill: Chopped. Provides a fresh, herbaceous note.
  • 1/4 cup toasted walnuts or almonds (optional): Adds a nutty crunch.
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese (optional): Crumbled. Offers a tangy, creamy element.


  • 1/4 cup olive oil: The base of the dressing, adding richness.
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar: Provides acidity and tang.
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice: Adds brightness and extra acidity.
  • 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup: Balances the acidity with a touch of sweetness.
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard: Adds a slight tang and helps emulsify the dressing.
  • Salt and pepper to taste: Essential for seasoning the dressing.



Prepare the Vegetables and Fruits:

  1. Slice the Cucumbers and Apples: Thinly slice the cucumbers and apples. Using a mandoline slicer can help achieve uniform, thin slices, which enhance the salad’s texture and presentation.
  2. Slice the Red Onion: Thinly slice the red onion. The sharp flavor of red onion adds a nice contrast to the sweetness of the apples and the freshness of the cucumbers.
  3. Chop the Fresh Dill: Finely chop the fresh dill. Dill adds a fragrant herbaceous flavor that complements the other ingredients.

Make the Dressing:

  1. Combine the Ingredients: In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, honey or maple syrup, and Dijon mustard. The mustard helps to emulsify the dressing, giving it a creamy texture.
  2. Season the Dressing: Add salt and pepper to taste. Adjust the seasoning as necessary to balance the flavors.

Combine the Salad:

  1. Mix the Vegetables and Fruits: In a large bowl, combine the sliced cucumbers, apples, red onion, and chopped dill.
  2. Add the Dressing: Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients. Toss gently to ensure everything is evenly coated with the dressing.

Add Toppings:

  1. Optional Nuts and Cheese: If using, sprinkle the toasted walnuts or almonds and crumbled feta cheese over the top of the salad. These add extra texture and flavor, making the salad more interesting and satisfying.



Add Protein:

  • Grilled Chicken or Shrimp: Add grilled chicken or shrimp to make the salad a more substantial meal. The protein pairs well with the crisp vegetables and tangy dressing.
  • Tofu: For a vegetarian option, add grilled or pan-fried tofu. It absorbs the flavors of the dressing beautifully.

Fruit Swap:

  • Pears: Substitute apples with pears or use a mix of both for a different flavor profile. Pears add a softer texture and a mild sweetness.
  • Berries: Add a handful of fresh berries like blueberries or raspberries for a pop of color and an extra layer of flavor.

Extra Greens:

  • Arugula or Spinach: Mix in some fresh arugula or baby spinach for added greens and nutrients. These greens add a peppery or mild taste that complements the other ingredients.



Keep It Crisp:

  • Preparation Timing: Slice the cucumbers and apples just before serving to keep them crisp. If you need to prepare them in advance, store them in ice water and drain well before mixing with the dressing.
  • Cold Ingredients: Keep the cucumbers and apples cold for extra crunchiness.

Adjust Sweetness:

  • Honey or Maple Syrup: Adjust the amount of honey or maple syrup in the dressing according to the sweetness of the apples and your taste preference. A little more can enhance the natural sweetness of the fruits.

Balance Flavors:

  • Taste and Adjust: Taste the salad before serving and adjust the seasoning with more salt, pepper, or lemon juice if needed. Balancing the flavors ensures the salad is neither too sweet nor too tangy.

The Crunchy Cucumber & Apple Salad is a refreshing and nutritious dish that brings together the best of fresh produce in a delightful way. With its crisp texture and tangy dressing, it’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser at any meal or gathering. This salad is not only delicious but also versatile, allowing you to customize it with your favorite ingredients and toppings. Enjoy this vibrant salad as a light lunch or a refreshing side dish!

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