This Paleo Cucumber Sesame Salad offers a wonderful alternative to the classic yogurt and/or dill version.
I have a theory that Google searches for cucumber salads go way up mid-summer here in the US. I’ll eat cucumbers all year round, but reaching for one at the supermarket in January knowing that it traveled all the way across the continent to get to my little neck of the woods makes me cringe a little inside. When the super markets proudly display “local” by the cucumbers come July and August, I proudly purchase a barrel load. Many vegetables and fruits taste profoundly better when they are local and the cucumbers are high on that list!
Many cucumber salads out there are of the dill and yogurt variety. And though, they are wonderful, I like to have an alternative up my sleeves when the rest of the lunch or dinner menu just doesn’t jive well with dill. This is where this salad comes in – the slightly thai-inspired flavors do not overpower the crispness and freshness of the cucumber, but rather compliment it. And the toasted sesame seeds give the whole salad an extra bit of depth of flavor.
You may be of the type that sees “toasted seeds” on a recipe and mentally choose to skip that step and just throw them in raw, but I don’t think you’ll regret the extra step if you take it. After all, you don’t really dirty a pan if you’re toasting the seeds dry right?! Toast them up, let the pan cool, and then place it right back in your drawer. 🙂
I can see this salad served next to a flank steak with chimichurri or as a side next to some thai-style chicken lettuce wraps.
I hope you enjoy! And, remember, show off your mad cooking skills on Instagram with #organicallymandy.
XO ~ Mandy
- Coconut Aminos – Coconut Amino is the Paleo diet’s replacement for Soy Sauce or Tamari. It has a wonderfully rich, dark nutty flavor that is both salty and sweet at the same time. If you aren’t avoiding soy or gluten, you use either soy sauce or tamari with the same great taste results.
- Cucumbers – In my opinion, cucumbers don’t receive the same fanfare as some of the vegetables in the brassica family (I’m looking at you kale and broccoli), but it really is a super star nutritionally for health, especially in the digestive department. Make sure and buy organic, if possible, and eat the seeds as well as the skin. Within the entire plant, the skin has the most concentrated amount of silicon, chlorophyll, sterols (cholesterol-lowering) and chemicals that aid in digestion. (Note: the credit for the nutritional information on plants goes to “Healing Foods.”)
Special Diet Modifications:
- GAPS and SCD – Replace the rice vinegar with coconut vinegar. Coconut vinegar can pack quite the punch, so you may need to add a little honey to balance out the acidity.
- Paleo – I will never claim to be a Paleo expert, but according to some, rice vinegar is alright on the Paleo diet, even though it comes from a grain, because it is fermented. You can substitute it with coconut vinegar if you’d like.
- 2 medium/large cucumbers, either spiralized, peeled into noodles, or sliced thinly * see notes
- ½ cup radishes, sliced (measure after slicing)
- 1 avocado, pit and flesh removed, then chopped into chunks (optional) **
- 3 tablespoons sesame seeds
- Fresh mint for garnish (about 15 leaves), roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- 1½ tablespoons coconut aminos (can substitute soy sauce or tamari if GF)
- 2 teaspoons rice vinegar (can substitute coconut vinegar)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Prepare the dressing by placing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk well to combine.
- Mix the dressing with the cucumbers, radishes and avocado (if using) and allow it to sit while toasting sesame seeds.
- Place the sesame seeds in a small pan over low-medium heat. Toast the sesame seeds until they are a nice golden brown, about 5-7 minutes, making sure to stay close and shake the pan often to prevent burning.
- Plate the cucumber salad and garnish with mint leaves and sesame seeds.