Spiralized Cold Cucumber Noodle Salad is light and refreshing in any season. Watercress, mint and a homemade toasted sesame-ginger dressing bring fresh flavor and crunch to this healthy recipe.
I was walking through the produce section of Whole Foods when cucumbers caught my eye. I actually stopped and stared for a moment to see if maybe they were some other exotic produce. Cucumbers seem to be a perfect summer type of vegetable; cool, refreshing, hydrating and subtle on flavor. It was like running into an unexpected guest at a party that seems totally out of place.
I bought some. I’ve been loving my Spiralizer and am compelled to find more and more things to make with it. I love a bit of whimsy in life and my food, and the Spiralizer delivers. It keeps me interested and from falling into a food boredom, eating expected winter foods repeatedly, waiting until spring and summer unveil their bounty to spice up my menus.
One of my first recipes after getting my Spiralizer was a Cucumber Melon Spa Salad. Cool cucumber noodles winding messily around honeydew and cantaloupe melon balls at their peak of sweetness. Is there anything you could hope for more on a steamy summer afternoon? This time I had visions of an equally simple, clean salad but with an Asian twist in a light dressing.
Making Cold Cucumber Noodle Salad
The large cucumber effortlessly transformed into what looked like a green variation of Rapunzel’s hair, twisting out of the machine endlessly, falling into heaps of ringlet curls. I tossed them with torn and chopped watercress and fresh mint, sprinkled with sliced almonds for crunch and warmth of flavor.
Slices of ginger soak for a bit in a dressing of toasted sesame oil, rice vinegar, and freshly squeezed mandarin juice. The dressing is light but adds a toasty flavor to the hydrating, crunchy salad. The salad is healthy and very lean on the calories; definitely something to usher in the healthier habits of the New Year and just as satisfying again in the heat of summer.
More fun Salad Recipes You’ll Love:
- Red Grape Jicama Walnut Salad with Mango-Jalapeno Poppy Seed Dressing
- Chinese Chicken Salad (gluten-free)
- Mexican Cobb Salad
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How to make Cold Cucumber Noodle Salad with Watercress, Mint and Toasted Sesame-Ginger Dressing:
Cold Cucumber Noodle Salad with Watercress, Mint and Toasted Sesame-Ginger Dressing
- 2 cups Spiralized Cucumber Noodles* (aproximately 1 large cucumber) using 1/8-inch 3mm noodle blade
- 1/2 cup Watercress , chopped or torn into small pieces
- 1/4 cup fresh Mint leaves , chopped finely
- 1/4 cup Sliced Almond
- Sesame seeds for garnish
Ingredients for the Toasted Sesame-Ginger Dressing:
- 1 teaspoon Toasted Sesame Oil
- 2 teaspoons Rice Vinegar
- 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed juice of Mandarin Orange (also known as Clementines or Cuties)
- 2-3 thin slices of fresh Ginger Root (sliced across the knob, 1/8 inch thick)
- Small pinch of Kosher Salt
Place half of the spiralized cucumber noodles on a layer of paper towels to dab any excess moisture. Place a second paper towel on top, the remaining noodles and top with paper towels. Allow to sit while you make the dressing.
Combine the toasted sesame oil, rice vinegar, mandarin orange juice and ginger root in a small bowl. Allow to sit for 20 minutes. Press down on the ginger slices with a dining spoon a few times during the soaking to extract more flavor.
To assemble the salad:
In a large mixing bowl combine the cucumber noodles, watercress, and mint. toss together. Note: due to the texture of the noodles it may work best to toss with your hands.
Add the sliced almonds and mix into the noodles.
Place noodles in desired serving vessels (bowls or plates) for one large main salad or two smaller salads. Remove the ginger slices from the dressing and drizzle some of the dressing evenly over the salad(s). Serve chilled and immediately
*To prepare cucumber noodles without a Spiralizer, try this method. Additionally I purchased a vegetable slicer intended for green papaya at an Asian supermarket for around $5 which could be an option.