This strawberry cucumber salad with mint and basil is a sweet and refreshing recipe that I munch on all summer long. It’s basically produce candy, and I’ve yet to meet anyone who doesn’t love it. It’s perfect for picnics and potlucks, a grab-and-go snack for pool days, or the easiest ever side dish next to some grilled protein. Low maintenance and delish – it’s what makes my foodie heart beat all summer long.
Few things bring me more joy that summer berries. Sweet little bites of heaven that make winter worth it (for the most part – those biting winds of February are totally irredeemable).
All of the berries are bountiful everywhere I look, and my basic summer lunch process looks something like this:
- Obtain berries
- Find something green
- Combine berries with green things
- Stuff face
That process doesn’t get any more delicious than this strawberry cucumber salad. With mint and basil. Because why not? Triple the green goodness!
There’s a whole lot of natural companionship happening in this salad. Sweet, juicy strawberries. Crunchy cucumbers. Refreshing herbs. A wee bit of sharpness from red onions. And a drizzle of tangy balsamic reduction. Summer’s finest flavors in one easy, delicious salad.
How to Make Strawberry Cucumber Salad
Strawberry cucumber salad comes together in mere minutes, and it’s as easy as it gets. Slice up some fresh strawberries and toss them with cool cucumber slices and slivers of red onion. Then add a little magic with fresh mint and basil.
For some reason or another, I’ve always got extra mint and basil lying around. Either because my patio pots exploded, or because I’ve got sprigs leftover from previous recipes. This salad is the perfect way to use ’em up. The mint is cool and refreshing, and the basil adds a peppery pop. Together they lend that perfect sweet-and-savory touch to this simple summer salad.
I kept the dressing simple with olive oil, balsamic reduction, flaky maldon sea salt, and cracked black pepper – flavors this fresh don’t need need much enhancement. Feel free to use balsamic vinaigrette if you don’t have any balsamic reduction.
Next to being the most delicious, what I love about this salad is how flexible it is. It’s friendly to all of the diets (paleo, vegan, gluten free, et al), and it can serve as a tasty little snack, base for a dinner salad, or potluck crowd pleaser.
Make it a meal by adding grilled steak, chicken, or fish. I like flaky white fish best, while my kids go for chicken. If you must have dairy (I fully support this BTW), add fresh mozzarella, feta, or goat cheese.
More Ways to Use Fresh Strawberries
My paleo strawberry BBQ sauce is the perfect companion to juicy grilled bone-in chicken. It’s easy, sweet, tangy, and totally refined sugar free. This strawberry kale salad is hearty and nourishing – I love it with roasted chicken for an easy packed lunch. And my strawberry basil margarita is a fun twist on the classic. It’s a sweet, tart and refreshing cocktail, perfect for summer outdoor sipping!
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Strawberry Cucumber Salad with Basil and Mint
This strawberry cucumber salad is a crunchy and refreshing summer salad recipe. Serve it as a side dish, or top it with grilled chicken, fish, or steak for a wholesome summer dinner.
- 8 oz. strawberries hulled and halved
- 1 english cucumber seeds removed, sliced
- 1 small red onion thinly sliced
- 1/2 c. fresh basil thinly sliced
- 1/4 c. fresh mint thinly sliced for larger leaves, small leaves left whole
- 2 tbsp unfiltered olive oil to taste
- 2 tbsp balsamic reduction to taste
- maldon sea salt to taste
- cracked black pepper to taste
Slice the strawberries, cucumber, red onion, basil, and mint. Gently toss all ingredients in a large bowl.
Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic reduction, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately. This salad keeps undressed in the fridge in a tightly sealed container for up to two days.
Variation: Spring Panzanella
This translates beautifully into a spring panzanella. Dice or tear a small loaf (about 4 cups) of day old bread into 1" pieces. Toast the bread in a 400* oven until golden brown. Toss the bread with the strawberries, cucumbers, red onion, basil, mint, salt, and pepper. Add 4 ounces of fresh mozzarella if desired. Toss the salad with 1/3 cup olive oil and 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar. Place in the fridge and marinate for about an hour. Serves 4 as an entree or 6 as a side dish.