Zesty Cucumber Salad with Pine Nuts

Cucumbers are not just for putting over your eye sockets.

Zesty Cucumber Salad with Pine Nuts

It’s because of this salad that I no longer look at cucumbers just through closed eyelids.

It’s because of this salad that I will be the talk of the barbecue all summer long.

It’s because of this salad and this smoothie that I am no longer bloated.

It’s because of this –

I’ll stop.

Zesty Cucumber Salad with Pine Nuts

Now that it’s sufficiently toasty outside, I’ve been eating salad for lunch purrrrdy much every day. Creature of habit right here. As much as I love my chock-full-of-goodies go-to green salad, I like to shake things up and keep it interesting – you know – really push the envelope.

I was perusing the Cooking Light website for something fun and different and I caught a glimpse of this Cucumber and Herb Salad with Pine Nuts. Sold! I already had a bunch of mint on hand, so I replaced the parsley and celery leaves with it.

Zesty Cucumber Salad with Pine Nuts

It’s because of this salad that I learned about cucumbers. Ready to geek out?

For reasons unbeknownst to be, I’ve always assumed cucumbers have zero health benefits. But after a little research, I learned I was wrong.  They aid with digestion, strengthen your connective tissue (which helps relieve arthritis), help reduce cholesterol, and lower your blood pressure. They contain electrolytes and also have a fair concentration of B vitamins and vitamin C, which makes them a nice little hangover cure. Word has it, eating cucumbers after tying one on will help prevent headache the next day. Wish I had known that little tidbit years ago.

The fact that cucumbers are also an anti-inflammatory is the reason we’ve been looking at them through closed eyelids. They help ease puffy eyes and swelling throughout the body. Hence the lack of bloatation. So now you know. you can add them cucumbers to your water for a little energy boost (or hangover prevention/cure).

Zesty Cucumber Salad with Pine Nuts

What’s the state of your lemon zester? Some people compare IRAs, workout routines, or handbags, but I’d like to know what your zester is like. Is it really just a cheese grater? Because that’s what I’ve been using all these years. Howeves, I had been looking for an excuse other than cocktails to commandeer a fancy Lemon Zester that makes long zest strips, and this salad provided that excuse. My zest will forever be changed.

And because I can’t possibly eat salad without at least half of an avocado and a hardboiled egg, this is how I enjoyed the thing:

Zesty Cucumber Salad with Pint Nuts

May your weekend be filled with zest and cucumber salad.

Zesty Cucumber Salad with Pine Nuts

Zesty Cucumber Salad with Pine Nuts

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Author: Julia
Recipe adapted from Cooking Light's Cucumber and Herb Salad with Pine Nuts


  • 1.5 tablespoon grapeseed oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon rind strips
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup fresh mint chopped
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt or to taste
  • 3 cups cucumber sliced (about 1.5 large cucumbers)
  • 3 stalks green onion chopped
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts toasted

Optional for serving:

  • 1 avocado peeled and diced
  • 3 hard boiled eggs chopped


  1. Whisk together the first 6 ingredients.
  2. Peel the cucumbers and slice them into 1/8" rounds.
  3. Add the cucumber, green onion, and toasted pine nuts to the bowl and stir everything together to combine.
  4. You can serve the salad as is, or add avocado and hard-boiled egg to make it more substantial.


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    1. Julia Post author

      Debloatation is my new favorite word and state of being, ha! Let’s lay by the pool and have ourselves some cucumber salad 🙂

    1. Julia Post author

      Haha! I’m always worried about taking chunks of skin off when I use kitchen appliances. Thankfully, my zester seems pretty fool-proof, so I think I’m safe with it 😉

  1. Isadora @ she likes food

    I’m a huge cucumber lover! I’m not sure if it is because I love the taste so much or the fact they they remind me of a spa, (cucumber water, cucumber slices on the eyes…) either way, I eat them all the time. I just bought a huge one from the farmer’s market and have been trying to think of something tasty to do with it. Also, I need a fancy lemon zester! I’ll add that to my huge list of kitchen wants 🙂

    1. Julia Post author

      So glad you’re interested in making the salad! It’s so simple yet flavorful. You really don’t need a fancy zester for this salad, but I really enjoyed the long strips 🙂

  2. Monet

    I normally don’t go for cucumbers but after this post (and these beautiful pictures) I think I’ve changed my mind. This salad looks so very lovely!

    1. Julia Post author

      Thanks, Monet! I’ve never been huge on cucumbers too, but I enjoy this salad – the flavors compliment each other nicely and it’s so refreshing. Let me know if you try it!

  3. Debra

    I fall on the long skinny zesting side. Love the sounds of this salad! (Love cucumbers anyway but this take a cuke salad to a whole ‘nother level!)

  4. Joanne

    So much to learn about cucumber, and so little time. Typically I’m not so into it because it tends to be low on the flavor totem pole, but not the case here. Not at all!

  5. Sylvia


    I found your this today on pinterest. I like the idea of the salad. Only I don’t have grapeseed oil and I don’t think its common in holland. Do you reccomend another type of oil (like olive oil or so) to use??




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