Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Cucumber and Smoked-Salmon Salad with Feta

Cucumber and Smoked Salmon Salad with Feta

Serve this tangy dish as starter or main

Cucumbers and smoked salmon, tossed with creamy feta cheese dressing. What’s not to like? Especially when you add green peas for color and radishes for perk.

Serve this dish of scrumptiousness as a starter. Or spoon up extra-large portions for a light main course.

This salad is quick to make, so it’s ideal for weeknight dinner. But it’s also fancy enough to serve at your next dinner party.

Like maybe your Mother’s Day celebration this weekend?



Cucumber and Smoked Salmon Salad with Feta

Recipe: Cucumber and Smoked-Salmon Salad with Feta

This recipe was inspired by a cucumber salad that some good friends served us a few weeks ago (thanks, Carol and Bob!). They, in turn, were inspired by a recipe in Andrea Bemis’s Dishing Up the Dirt.

The original recipe used a vinaigrette-style dressing, and didn’t contain salmon. We love creamy feta, so we replaced the original dressing with one of our favorites. The original also included avocado, which we omitted – you might want to add that back in.

Exact quantities aren’t critical for this recipe. So feel free to adapt.

This salad takes 10 to 15 minutes to put together.

This recipe yields 2 generous main-course servings, or 4 starter-size servings.

Ingredients
  • 1 English (seedless) cucumber or 2 large common cucumbers
  • 1 cup frozen peas (may substitute fresh)
  • 3 to 4 ounces sliced smoked salmon (or lox; see Notes)
  • ½ bunch of radishes (a good handful)
  • a handful of fresh mint
  • ~4 ounces of crumbled feta cheese (reserve a few large crumbles for garnish, if you wish)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice or wine vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil (or more to taste)
  • salt to taste (maybe half a teaspoon of kosher salt; see Notes)
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste (half a dozen grinds for us)
  • ½ to ¾ cup yogurt, preferably Greek (to taste)
  • mint sprigs for garnish (optional)
Procedure
  1. Wash and dry the cucumber(s). If using regular cukes, you may want to peel them and remove the seeds. Slice the cucumbers into thin ribbons, using a vegetable peeler or a mandolin. Place the cucumber ribbons in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Cook the peas in the microwave until just done (about 3 or 4 minutes). Rinse the peas under cold water to cool them, then add the peas to the cucumber ribbons.
  3. Cut the salmon into slices of a quarter inch or so. Add the salmon slices to the cukes and peas.
  4. Clean the radishes, then remove their stems and root ends. Slice the radishes thinly, then add them to the mixing bowl.
  5. Rinse off the mint, then dry it. Mince the mint finely, then add it to the mixing bowl.
  6. Add the feta to a separate, smaller bowl. Crumble the feta with a fork or a wire whisk. Add the lemon juice or vinegar, then whisk together. Add the olive oil a tablespoon at a time, and whisk until you have an emulsion. Add salt and pepper to taste. Then mix in enough yogurt to create a creamy sauce. Add less yogurt if you want a very thick sauce, more if you want a thinner one.
  7. Add half the dressing to the cucumber mixture (reserving the rest for another use; it’ll keep in the refrigerator in an airtight container for several days). Toss all the ingredients until everything is well mixed. 
  8. Plate the salad. Garnish with mint sprigs and/or reserved crumbles of feta, if you wish, and serve.
Cucumber and Smoked Salmon Salad with Feta

Notes
  • We like to use seedless English cucumbers for this dish. Their skin is thinner than that of regular cucumbers (and it’s not waxed), so we never peel them. But regular cucumbers would work in this dish too.
  • Lox and smoked salmon are similar, but not quite the same. Lox is salmon that’s been cured in brine, and is often smoked. You can also buy salmon that has been smoked, but not brined. Either will work in this dish. We used smoked salmon (not brined).
  • Feta cheese is usually made from sheep’s milk, or sometimes from a mix of sheep’s and goat’s milk. The real stuff comes from Greece. You often see domestic “feta” made from cow’s milk, which we don’t think is as good as the real thing.
  • We think lemon juice works a bit better in this dish than the wine vinegar, but the vinegar is certainly OK.
  • If you don’t want to use (or don’t have) fresh mint, try fresh dill or oregano.
  • You may also want to add some chopped scallions to this dish. They probably would make a nice addition.
  • Some minced sweet red pepper might add a nice touch too.
  • We generally use kosher salt for cooking, which is coarser than regular table salt (and thus less salty by volume). So if using table salt, use about half of what we suggest.
  • But, as always, season according to your taste, not ours.
Cucumber and Smoked Salmon Salad with Feta

Crudités

“So you used smoked salmon,” said Mrs Kitchen Riffs. “But no lox step.”

“Don’t make a feta-ral case out of it,” I said.

“Feel cool as a cucumber after that comment?” said Mrs K R.

“Well,” I said. “We’re subjecting this salad to a lot of peas-poor puns.”

“Yup, the veggies are screaming in anguish,” said Mrs K R. “And rooting for us to stop.”

Better desist now. Don’t want a hoarse radish.

You may also enjoy reading about:
Asparagus and Spinach Salad
Beet and Goat Cheese Salad with Mint
Italian Celery and Mushroom Salad
Healthy Edamame and Bean Salad
Tuna Pasta Salad
Poached Salmon
Or check out the index for more recipes

106 comments:

Angie Schneider said...

Very fresh, crunchy and delicious...definitely my kind of salad!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Angie, freshness never tasted better! :-) Thanks for the comment.

Mae Travels said...

OK, I'm hooked -- but what I have on hand is smoked trout. It will be in a salad for lunch. Inspired, but not really following your recipe. Thanks!

Best...
mae at maefood.blogspot.com

Denise Browning said...

A healthy. complete, balanced meal. And it looks so good!!!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Mae, smoked trout would be wonderful! And we rarely make the same exact thing twice, even when we're using the "same" recipe. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Denise, looks good, tastes good. Winner! :-) Thanks for the comment.

Evelyne CulturEatz said...

Such a pretty and fance shmancy salad! Love the cucumber preped as ribbons. And big love for smoked slamon and feta. OK I never knew the difference between Lox and smoked salmon, thanks!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Evelyne, those cucumber ribbons are so much fun! It's because of them that I wanted to make the salad. :-) Thanks for the comment.

savorthebestcooks@gmail.com said...

Great salad recipe....I love the flavor profile, thanks for sharing :)

Pam said...

Great combination of flavors, colors, and textures. It looks and sounds tasty.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Pat, isn't this a fun salad? So many different flavors! Thanks for the comment.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Pam, this dish has it all, doesn't it? :-) Thanks for the comment.

Ritu Ahuja said...

A perfect salad. Healthy, yummy and delicious. Love it. Yum Yum :)

Judy@SavoringToday said...

What an awesome spring salad! The peas and radishes are at their peak right now -- crisp, tender, and spring-y is just what we need with all the rain! Great salad.

Yi said...

Second the English cucumber! Always prefer those over the regular ones! This salad sounds so refreshing and who would ever say no to smoked salmon! Thanks for the recipe!

Madonna said...

I love these flavors.

laura dembowski said...

This is pretty much how I eat every night. You included so many of my favorite foods - peas, radishes, cucumbers.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Ritu, this really is yummy! :-) Thanks for the comment.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Judy, we have outstanding radishes in the store at the moment. Although at the moment our frozen peas are better than the fresh -- go figure! Thanks for the comment.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Yi, love smoked salmon! Thanks for the comment.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Madonna, :-) Thanks for the comment.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Laura, you eat good dinners! :-) Thanks for the comment.

Abbe@This is How I Cook said...

What a perfectly spring-centric Mother's Day salad! Love the use of cucumber ribbons and smoked salmon really puts this over the top and makes it extra-special. NOw can I have one of those special cocktails to go with it?

Amira Ibrahim said...

This is great, I love smoked salmon. Those cucumber ribbons look so cute. Thanks for the recipe.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Abbe, you absolutely can have a special cocktail to go with this special dish! Two, in fact. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Amira, the cucumber ribbons are great, aren't they? Love the way they curl! Thanks for the comment.

Agness of Run Agness Run said...

This is a great and healthy idea, John! Loved the recipe and I cannot wait to give it a try!

Tricia Buice said...

Love all the fresh spring flavors going on in this salad! I also love the way you made ribbons with the cucumbers - such a great way to serve them. Another delicious recipe for sure!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Agness, isn't this nice? And it's especially tasty! Thanks for the comment.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Tricia, cucumber ribbons are so much fun, aren't they? Love the way they look! And taste, of course. :-) Thanks for the comment.

GiGi Eats Celebrities said...

You know how I feel about salmon. Or at least I Hope you know. It's just LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE so anything involving salmon is a HECK YES in my book!!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi GiGi, I think I have detected a certain fondness for salmon in you, yes. So this is definitely the dish for you. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Maureen | OrgasmicChef said...

I love how you wove the ribbons through that salad and popping that green color in the peas makes all the difference for me. Also, I love that dressing!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Maureen, that dressing is fantastic -- really worth trying. And it was the chance to play with the cucumber ribbons that made me want to make this. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Healthy World Cuisine said...

Such a delightful fresh spring salad! The addition of mint is perfectly delightful. How do you and Mrs. Riff think of all of your sayings at the end of your posts? You guys are so much fun. Wishing you a super week John!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Bobbi, usually the dish we're making suggest some of those sayings. And we bounce them off each other -- kind of build on each other's idea. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Kelsie | the itsy-bitsy kitchen said...

This looks delicious! Anything with feta is a-ok in my book :). Have a great rest of your week!

Cheri Savory Spoon said...

What a perfect salad, cucumber and salmon; a match made in heaven. Hope you both are having a great week!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Kelsie, feta is a great cheese, isn't it? Thanks for the comment.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Cheri, isn't this a neat salad? Such good flavor! Thanks for the comment.

Gerlinde de Broekert said...

This is the perfect salad for a house full of German guests. Thank you John.

Jeff said...

What a delicious salad! Light and clean, but so obviously packed with flavor.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Gerlinde, enjoy! :-) Thanks for the comment.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Jeff, TONS of flavor in this. TONS. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Lea Ann (Cooking on the Ranch) said...

I don't think I've ever seen a more perfect Spring Salad. Thanks for sharing this one John.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Lea Ann, it's a good one, isn't it? :-) Thanks for the comment.

Amy (Savory Moments) said...

Looks delicious, John! I really enjoy smoked salmon and should try to incorporate it into more dishes (other than on a bagel with cream cheese lol).

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Amy, smoked salmon and cream cheese is a great combo! Love salmon in any form, and the smoked goes so nicely in this salad. Thanks for the comment.

Juliana said...

Beautiful and colorful salad John...I love the smoked salmon in it and the refreshing mint...and yes, I could have this salad as my main meal.
I hope you are having a fabulous week :)

Deb|EastofEdenCooking said...

Loving the feta dressing on this savory salad, easy and bright with flavor. Another great salad recipe!

Peachy @ The Peach Kitchen said...

I've never had smoked salmon in a salad before. This looks amazing.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Juliana, this is pretty, isn't it? And really tasty. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Deb, feta makes a wonderful dressing! Really worth having. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Peachy, a little smoked salmon goes a long way, so it works really well in a salad. Thanks for the comment.

mymansbelly said...

This looks like the perfect Spring salad!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Pamela, it's a really good one! :-) Thanks for the comment.

Robyn Gleason said...

Spring has sprung on your plate! How perfectly delectable does this salad look! All my favourite flavours. Beautifully done :)

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Robyn, this is definitely spring on a plate. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Food Gal said...

You had me at smoked salmon because I will eat anything with smoked salmon. I'll even eat smoked salmon WITH smoked salmon. ;)

mjskit said...

Oh John, I do love this salad! Sometimes I'll make a simple cucumber salad and serve it as a side to smoked salmon. Adding the smoked salmon to the salad sounds even better. Love the feta dressing as well. The local market has had some beautiful sugar snaps lately that would be great peas for this salad. Hope to make this soon! Thanks!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Carolyn, really like the idea of smoked salmon with smoked salmon. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi MJ, cucumber and salmon is such a natural combo, don't you think? Love the idea of sugar snaps in this -- fun! Thanks for the comment.

beyondkimchee said...

How refreshing this looks! Cucumber and smoked salmon are such a great combination. Feta is the perfect choice to go with this salad. Nice!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Holly, this is a wonderful combo of flavors! Really satisfying. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Anu - My Ginger Garlic Kitchen said...

Cucumber and smoked salmon sound like a match made in heaven. I love feta cheese and this feta dressing on savory salad sounds like a lovely idea. I bet this easy and bright salad would make a nice treat for this slightly warm weather.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Anu, this is a wonderful dish for this time of the year. Or any time, really. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Sippity Sup said...

Once you've tasted sheep feta next to cow feta you'll never moo again! GREG

Cathleen said...

What a combination!! I absolutely love smoked salmon, but I have never thought to put it in a salad!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Greg, I won't say baa to that. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Cathleen, you have to try this! SO good. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Fran @ Gday Souffle said...

Just leave out the cucumber (it's not my 'thing') and this salad will hit the spot!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Fran, we actually have left out the cucumber (and the radishes) and done a pasta-based version of this dish. Very yummy! And you may (or may not!) see it on the blog at some point in the (probably distant) future. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Easyfoodsmith said...

Just going through the list of ingredients I can imagine how good this must have tasted.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Taruna, fun list of ingredients, isn't it? :-) Thanks for the comment.

Liz Berg said...

Oooh, this is definitely MY kind of salad! I'd happily eat it every day for lunch this week. The cucumber ribbons make it extra fancy :)

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Liz, cucumber ribbons are fun (and tasty!), aren't they? :-) Thanks for the comment.

Debra Eliotseats said...

What a vibrant salad!

lisa is cooking said...

I love these light and fresh flavors a hot summer day! Sounds perfect for, say, every weekend lunch for next few months. :)

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Debra, isn't it? Really good! :-) Thanks for the comment.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Lisa, yup, we've been having this a lot lately! Thanks for the comment.

Melissa @ Insider The Kitchen said...

DELCIOUS! as my husband put it - restaurant quality!

mimi rippee said...

Absolutely gorgeous! I wish someone had made this for me yesterday!!!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Melissa, yup, it's good. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Mimi, guess you'll have to make it for yourself today! :D Thanks for the comment.

Anne@ASaladForAllSeasons said...

LOL...love your conversations with Mrs. KR! And I love EVERYTHING about this salad. Creamy, cool and crunchy! A perfect warm weather salad! :)

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Anne, this is a great salad. Conversation-worthy. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Marcelle @ A Little Fish in the Kitchen said...

You had me at creamy Feta cheese dressing, John!! :) I love everything about this salad! It truly looks super delicious. Adding a few things to the grocery list now... :)

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Marcelle, the dressing is wonderful! As is the salad. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Pam said...

Don't know how I missed this - it looks delicious! My kind of salad. Don't think I've ever combined radishes and salmon, sounds great to me. And Feta only kicks it up a notch. Great recipe, John!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Pam, radishes and salmon are wonderful together! Really good combo. :-) Thanks for the comment.

handmade by amalia said...

The perfect lunch!
Amalia
xo

Anu - My Ginger Garlic Kitchen said...

What a pretty and perfect looking Spring salad, John. Cucumber and salmon are a lovely combo. Have a nice week ahead.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Amalia, it is! :-) Thanks for the comment.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Anu, we really like the combo of salmon and cucumber, and the feta is icing on the cake. So to speak. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Raymund said...

Another nice salad! I like the smoked salmon part

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Raymund, smoked salmon is SO GOOD in salads. Or all by itself. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Dawn Yucuis said...

It salad sound wonderful. I love the smoked salmon!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Dawn, it's a great dish! And the salmon really adds a lot. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Frank Fariello said...

This looks really refreshing. Now that the warm weather is here, this would make for a great light weekday supper.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Frank, it is refreshing -- not too filling, but just enough. Thanks for the comment.

Anna Johnston said...

peas-poor puns... oh stop! Hahaha. :)
Love your salad, its gorgeous and simple too. Now I am working in a job that requires I bring my lunch, I need all the ideas possible. Thanks John. Cant wait to try this bad boy!

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Anna, they really are peas-poor, aren't they? :-) Anyway, this is really good stuff -- bet you'd like it! Thanks for the comment.

Jamie said...

The hot weather has just finally arrived here in Chinon and I'm craving salad. And, oddly enough, I'm craving smoked salmon, too. I must make this salad now and I (who almost always adds feta to salads) loves the idea of using feta and yogurt to make a creamy dressing.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Jamie, that dressing is really nice -- works really well with the salmon and cucumber. :-) Thanks for the comment.

Marta @ What should I eat for breakfast today said...

I love quick solutions, thank you for sharing <3

Kitchen Riffs said...

Hi Marta, quick, easy, and tasty definitely works for us! :-) Thanks for the comment.