You know those days in the thick of summer when it’s too hot to cook? Those moments when even the thought of turning on the oven makes you feel like you need to take a cold shower immediately? We’ve all been there. On those days, the food that I crave most is a cucumber salad. It’s crisp, refreshing, bright, and there is absolutely no heat required to make it. Phew.
It’s All in the Seasoning
This rendition of a cucumber salad is livened up with a couple tablespoons of everyone’s favorite garnish—everything bagel seasoning. This clever spice mix—dried onions, dried garlic, poppy seeds, and sesame seeds—is an easy way to add savory, bagel-adjacent flavors to anything you fancy. I usually buy it at Trader Joe’s, though it’s available in most grocery stores.
Everything in this Cucumber Salad
I’d recommend using Persian cucumbers for this salad because they’re more flavorful, less watery, and have thinner, smoother skin in comparison to English cucumbers. You can opt to use one large cucumber or several smaller ones.
To keep with the loaded bagel flavor profile, this cucumber salad incorporates red onion, capers, fresh dill, scallions, and a creamy, sour cream dressing. I don’t know about you, but I like my bagels loaded with toppings, which is exactly why I’m throwing in the works here too.
You could opt to mix in softened cream cheese into the dressing if you’re really playing into the bagel theme, but I found it slightly difficult to incorporate while testing this recipe. Not to mention, sour cream offers a tangy, acidic flavor that plays well with the salad components.
Simple Serving Suggestions
This salad would be a lovely addition to any outdoor entertaining situation—serve it alongside your burgers, hot dogs, grilled vegetables, potato salad, and pasta salad. You know the drill. This salad could also be enjoyed as a casual weekday lunch with some grilled chicken and a handful of bagel chips. For the ultimate bagel inception, toast a bagel and top it with this salad. Sounds like everything and more to me.
Enjoy It Right Away
One thing to note about this salad is that it’s best enjoyed within a couple hours of making it. As the cucumbers sit in the dressing, they lose their signature crunch and the whole situation becomes a little bit sad, if I’m being honest. If you want to make this salad ahead of time, just wait to dress the components right before you plan to serve it.
Make the dressing:
In a small bowl, mix the sour cream, lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon everything bagel seasoning. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Stir and set aside.
Combine the vegetables:
In a large bowl, add the cucumbers, scallions, onion, capers, dill, and remaining 1 tablespoon everything bagel seasoning—this seasoning stays crunchier than the seasoning in the dressing, which I love.
Dress the salad and serve:
Add the dressing and mix to combine. Serve immediately.
The salad is best eaten right away, but it will stay fresh for about 2 days refrigerated.
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