Recipe: Chilled Lemon-Dill Cucumber Noodles

Recipe: Chilled Lemon-Dill Cucumber Noodles

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

When it's hot outside, twirl your fork around these thin, ultra-crisp cucumber noodles dressed with a tangy vinaigrette of lemon zest, olive oil, a little garlic, and dill. It's a versatile side dish or the base for a light lunch. My favorite is a bowl of these "noodles" topped with some smoked or seared salmon. It's a tasty combo that can't be beat when the temperatures start to climb.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Tips for Even Better Cucumber Noodles

Tossing the thin cucumber noodles with a little salt before you assemble the salad helps to pull out some of the water in the cucumber, leaving them super-crisp so they don't water-down the dressing. If you don't have a spiralizer, this cucumber salad can still be yours. All you have to do is pull out your vegetable peeler to shave the cucumber into thin ribbons, ready to be dressed with the lemon-dill vinaigrette. Make a big batch of this, especially when the weather's hot and muggy, and keep it in the fridge for when you need a refreshing vegetable dish that requires zero heat.

Chilled Lemon-Dill Cucumber Noodles

Serves 3 to 4 as a side dish

1 pound English cucumbers (about 2), peeled if desired
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided, plus more as needed
Finely grated zest of 1 medium lemon
1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh dill fronds

Fit a colander or fine-mesh strainer over a large bowl, or place in the sink. Using a spiralizer with the thinnest "noodle" attachment, spiralize the cucumber into long, thin strands. Place in the colander, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and toss to combine. Let the noodles stand 30 minutes at room temperature.

Meanwhile, whisk the lemon zest, lemon juice, oil, garlic, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt together in a large bowl. Season with pepper, stir in the dill, and set aside.

When the noodles are ready, add them to the dressing and gently toss to coat. Taste and season with more salt as needed. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

  • Spiralizer alternative: If you don't have a spiralizer, use a vegetable peeler to shave the cucumber into thin ribbons instead.
  • Storage: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
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