This authentic Moroccan cucumber salad is bright, refreshing, and comes together in just 15 minutes. Made with Persian (or Armenian) cucumbers, mint, and a simple vinaigrette, it's the perfect vegan and gluten free salad to serve as a side dish or snack.
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If you love Moroccan recipes, you're likely familiar with the amazing selection of salads (shlada).
It's great served as a side dish or snack with a slice of crusty bread.
You likely already have most of the ingredients for this recipe in your kitchen. Here's what you'll need:
- Persian or Armenian cucumbers, can be peeled or not
- white vinegar or lemon juice
- black pepper
- olive oil
- fresh mint, minced
See recipe card for quantities.
Varieties of Cucumbers
The smaller varieties of cucumbers are great for this cucumber salad because they are easy to slice thin, bite sized, and traditional to this Moroccan recipe.
While I do recommend using Persian or Armenian cucumbers (two smaller varieties) if you can find them, you can totally use whatever type of cucumber is available to you.
Here are some I've tried with great success in this dish:
- Armenian / Persian
- English / Hothouse
- Chelsea Slice
Believe it or not... this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are dozens (if not hundreds) of cucumber varieties you could use in this recipe.
Feel free to use the one that is most accessible for you.
Step by Step Instructions
Prep the cucumbers. Start by slicing the cucumbers thinly using a knife or mandolin. Add to a bowl, sprinkle with salt, toss, and set in a colander to drain for 10 minutes.
Make the vinaigrette. While the cucumbers sit, combine the vinegar or lemon, and pepper in a bowl. Whisk together while drizzling in the olive oil.
Assemble the salad. Transfer the cucumbers to a paper towel lined bowl to drain any liquid. Transfer them to the bowl with the vinaigrette and toss to mix. Mix in the minced mint before plating the cucumbers on small plates and serving.
Cucumbers and Salt
If you're an avid cucumber lover, you may already know about the quick trick to ensuring your cucumber salads don't get too watery.
Simply sprinkle sliced cucumbers with salt and watch the water content drain out of them.
10 minutes is a great starting point, but feel free to let them soak for up to 30 minutes if you've got extra time.
From there you can pat they dry and use in whatever salads you want! The drained cucumbers should now absorb all of your vinaigrette and won't water it down.
Substitutions & Variations
- Mint vs. Parsley - swap out the mint for some minced parsley to bring a more savory flavor profile out of the salad
- Add a Pinch of Sugar - lean into the mint with a dash of sugar to enhance the natural sugars in the cucumbers
- Orange Blossom Water - adding the smallest drizzle of this traditional Moroccan ingredient will take things in a more floral, sweet direction
Thinly sliced cucumbers are what makes this salad so fun to eat.
If you have a mandolin, it can be really helpful in getting consistent slices. Otherwise a sharp knife should work fine.
Always make sure to be careful and protect your fingers when using a mandolin or sharp knife.
This salad can keep in the fridge for up to 1 day, but is best enjoyed fresh to maintain the crunch and freshness of the cucumbers.