On the hunt for a simple, light salad recipe? This sumac cucumber salad fits the bill and how!
Fresh, crisp cucumbers are tossed in a simple mix of Sumac, olive oil and mint to make this easy and refreshing salad that will liven up any table on a hot summer day.
Cucumbers are an absolute favorite in my household, and we use them in almost all of our salads.
Quite recently, I tried my hands at a nice Middle Eastern style tangy Sumac onion salad, and inspired by that, I decided to try this.
What's So Great About the Recipe?
The simplicity of this recipe is my favorite! I like to keep my salads simple, especially when I’m serving them as a side dish, and this one comes together in just 5 minutes.
Plus, you can also customize the salad and add in other veggies to bring in some variation and use up some of the veggies in your refrigerator!
Ingredients For the Sumac Cucumber Recipe
You’ll need just a few simple ingredients to make this refreshing cucumber salad.
Persian cucumbers: Persian or English cucumbers work wonderfully. You could also use regular cucumbers if that’s what you have, but you’ll need to peel them before you use them.
Onion: Sliced onions bring a nice bit of pungent flavor and deliciousness to the salad. I would recommend using red onions.
Mint leaves: Fresh mint leaves brighten up the salad. You could also choose to use a pinch of dried mint if you don’t have the fresh version.
Sumac: To season the salad, I added some ground Sumac spice, which lends a beautiful tangy flavor to the salad.
Salt and pepper: You’ll also need a bit of salt and pepper. You can also choose to use kosher salt if you want to.
Olive oil: Use extra virgin olive oil to form the base for the salad with Sumac.
Lemon juice: Lemon juice brings a nice lemony flavor to the salad and also lends some acidity to it.
See recipe card for quantities.
How to Make Sumac Cucumber Salad
Got everything ready? Here’s what you’ll need to do to make the Sumac salad.
Halve cucumbers lengthwise and slice. Slice the red onions too.
Place in a large bowl.
Add Sumac, salt and pepper. Squeeze the juice of a lemon into it.
Add a generous drizzle of olive oil.
Mix well and let it sit in the refrigerator.
Top with chopped mint leaves, some more Sumac and lemon wedges and serve.
Substitutions & Variations
- To bring a bit of extra tang to the salad, you can swap the olive oil in the recipe for some lemon infused olive oil.
- Crumbled feta can also be a wonderful addition to the salad and can balance out the tangy, sour flavor from the Sumac seasoning.
- To bring a hint of sweetness and acidity to the salad, you can drizzle some pomegranate molasses dressing over it!
To get the perfect thin slices of cucumber, I would recommend using a mandolin slicer.
How to Store the Leftover Sumac Cucumber Salad
Your leftover Sumac cucumber salad can stay good in the refrigerator for 2 days.
I wouldn’t recommend storing it beyond that point as it can really start to get all watery and unappealing.
Make sure you use an airtight container to store it.
Tips & Tricks to Nail the Recipe
- In addition to the cucumbers and onions, you can also add other veggies of your choice to make a nice, wholesome tasty salad. Cherry tomatoes, radish, beet and carrots are all great choices.
- Start with a little Sumac and salt, toss everything well and give it a quick taste to check for the right amount of saltiness. You can always add more if needed.
- Remember to choose ripe, fresh cucumbers for this salad. Check if they’re firm and don’t have any soft spots before you use them.
- You can choose to cut the cucumbers in practically any shape you like. I kept it simple and cut the cucumbers lengthwise before slicing them.
- I would recommend letting the salad sit in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before serving. This allows the salad to soak up some of that delicious dressing and also kind of soften a bit.
- You can also choose to sprinkle some fresh parsley or coriander if you don’t have the mint. Just a teaspoon of it can really jazz up the flavor.
- If you want the salad to have a hint of spice, you can sprinkle some Aleppo pepper or paprika into the mix too.
How to Serve Sumac Cucumber
This summer cucumber salad can be enjoyed with almost any of your favorite dishes.
I love pairing it with my Middle Eastern and Lebanese foods in specific- it tastes great with some Sumac chicken or a nice Shawarma wrap.
But honestly, that isn’t it- you can always pair it with a rice Pilaf or even feature it on a serving platter with some Hummus, pita and other Middle Eastern foods like marinated olives and Turkish cheese rolls.
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
- 2-3 Persian cucumbers thinly sliced
- ½ lemon juiced
- ¼ cup mint finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon sumac
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 red onion sliced
- 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Halve cucumbers lengthwise and slice. Slice the red onions too.
- Place in a large bowl.
- Add Sumac, salt and pepper.
- Squeeze the juice of a lemon into it.
- Add a generous drizzle of olive oil.
- Mix well and let it sit in the refrigerator.
- Top with chopped mint leaves, some more Sumac and lemon wedges and serve.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove