This refreshing and flavorful Cucumber Gazpacho Salad is a simplified version of Spanish gazpacho. No food processor or immersion blender required! It's bright, fresh, crunchy, acidic - everything you could hope for in a healthy side dish.
I love sipping delicious cold soups out of small glasses on a hot summer day. But sometimes I am in the mood for a more substantial side dish. So when you want to chew your gazpacho instead of sip it...reach for this delicious salad.
Ingredients needed to make this salad:
Before we get to the step by step directions, a few notes about the ingredients:
Veggies: grape tomatoes, red onion, English cucumber and yellow bell pepper are my favorite combination for this salad. But substitute what you have! Grape tomatoes or diced heirlooms can be used, as well as Persian cucumbers, sweet onions or red bell peppers.
Garnish: fresh basil is my preference, but substitute fresh flat-leaf parsley or chives. Pumpkin seeds are a rich and crunchy addition, but they are optional. Substitute sunflower seeds or slivered almonds.
Full ingredient list and measurements included in the printable recipe card below.
Step by step instructions:
1. Prep vegetables
Begin by washing all of your vegetables and drying them well to keep excess moisture out of the salad. Quarter and slice cucumbers, halve or quarter cherry tomatoes and medium dice the bell pepper. Peel, quarter and slice red onion thinly. Add all of the prepared raw vegetables to a large bowl and set aside.
2. Make dressing
In a small bowl or jar, combine the grated garlic cloves with 3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil. Add 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon of fresh-squeezed lime juice, 1 teaspoon of sea salt and ½ teaspoon of fresh ground pepper.
Stir well or shake to combine. Pour the dressing over the cut fresh vegetables.
3. Garnish and serve
Add basil and toss to coat. Keep in mind that the dressing flavor will continue to develop. It will intensify as the salad soaks in the bright and savory dressing.
For best results, let the tomato-cucumber gazpacho recipe sit at room temperature for 15-20 minutes before serving. Top with pumpkin seeds (if using) and serve.
Looking for more fresh side dish recipes?
FAQ's and Serving Suggestions:
Gazpacho is a chilled soup made of diced cucumber, tomatoes and a drizzle of olive oil. It is big business here in Iberia. Old school milk-style cartons of this soup are sold in every local grocery store. They are kept in tiny European refrigerators to drink on hot summer days.
Authentic Spanish cuisine is famously un-spicy. If you're at peace with yourself and your Spanish ancestors, add a few dashes of hot sauce, or a pinch of red pepper flakes to the dressing.
Red wine vinegar is typically my go-to choice. This salad works beautifully with white wine vinegar, too. You can even use a tablespoon sherry vinegar. This is the vinegar of choice in traditional cold cucumber soup recipes.
I would avoid distilled white vinegar, which is highly acidic and would create some imbalance in your flavor profile. Any vinegar of medium acidity will be put to good use here.
Fresh lemon juice also works as a substitute for either lime juice or vinegar of choice.
I suggest sticking with soft herbs. Basil, fresh mint, parsley and chives make a great way to add flavor to this perfect fresh vegetable salad.
If you are using regular cucumbers be sure to peel the skin, scrape out the pocket of watery seeds, then slice them.
To make this salad into a soup, pile all of the vegetable ingredients into your food processor and mix at high speed. I recommend adding the dressing gradually to ensure you achieve the perfect balance of flavor. Top with fresh basil and pumpkin seeds for an extra crunch.
This salad is the perfect side dish for busy weeknights. Prepare it ahead of time and serve with a simple main course like shrimp or swordfish.
I often eat it with a handful of crispy seasoned chickpeas or a can of tuna in olive oil. It's one of my favorite dishes to serve with Smoked Salmon Quiche and the Honey Lime Fresh Fruit Salad. Easy dinners like Baked Tilapia or Crispy Panko Cod would be ideal with simple white rice and this gazpacho salad.
To store, be sure to keep it in airtight container in your refrigerator for up to 3 days.