Lettuce and cucumber salad – simple but perfect
A super easy and simple salad is this lettuce and cucumber salad. I like to serve mine with parmesan shavings or you can add extra’s like parmesan shavings, tomatoes or crunchy bacon bits.
Lettuce and cucumber salad
Back in the day when we would eat lettuce at home, it would always be a regular butter cup lettuce. That was before the time when you all of a sudden could buy lettuce in a bag and before the time that everyone started eating iceberg lettuce. I don’t like iceberg lettuce.
What can you find in this post?
It is watery and uninteresting in taste. You can make me happy with arugula, but also with virtually all other types of lettuce out there. And thank goodness they are appearing in more and more varieties these days.
Gone are the days of iceberg lettuce!
This recipe is so simple you hardly need a recipe for it, but it is the dressing that makes it perfect. I made this recipe for the Donna Hay challenge that I had set myself ages ago. I never got past number 23, but the idea was originally to make all the recipes from one single magazine from Donna.
I didn’t think it through too long though, as part of the magazine was 8 whole chicken recipes, an equal number of bread puddings and thankfully also this delicious lettuce and cucumber salad.
For this particular recipe I chose to cut the cucumber in ribbons, as it looks so pretty. Obviously you can cut it anyway you want. The lettuce and cucumber salad won’t taste any different for it if you do.
The original recipe used ricotta salata which is a pressed firm, salted ricotta. It is not something that you can find easily here in the Netherlands. Although I have to admit I didn’t look too hard to find it. I figured the recipe would be delicious with parmesan shavings, cucumber and the lettuce.
It’s the ultimate simple salad recipe but you can of course make it as fancy as you want. I would highly recommend using the butter lettuce as that is so good. Arugula would work but that is so much different in taste that it is hard to replace one for the other.
The recipe is very light so not exactly good for a lunch that will keep you going for a bit, but it is a perfect little side dish for when you’re having a summer barbecue. Or make it a bit more filling by adding some chicken to it.
As this is a really basic salad it is really easy to add additional items to it. Think about adding things like tomatoes, feta or crunchy bacon bits. None of that is entirely necessary but it will make the salad more filling and better suited for something like a lunch.
No the butter cup lettuce is not strong enough to withstand heat or transportation. Make it fresh and eat it right away?
Yes you can. If you must you can use iceberg lettuce or lamb’s lettuce. I wouldn’t use arugula as that can be a bit too strong for this simple salad. But you could use it in a mix of different lettuce types.
What can I add to the salad?
As this is a basic lettuce and cucumber salad there are plenty of things you can add to the salad to give it more body or make it more interesting. Let’s explore the options:
A perfect addition to the salad would be tomatoes. I love using cherry tomatoes in all sort of different colors. That would give the salad a bit of color and make it even more delicious.
Anything is better with bacon, right? This lettuce and cucumber salad will thank you for it. You can bake small bacon bits and add to the salad as a sprinkling. You can even put it to the side if you’re serving it for guests.
Croutons would be delicious here too. If I make croutons I use stale bread, cut it in cubes and place it in a bowl. I sprinkle olive oil over the bowl and grated parmesan. Toss it until most of the bread is covered with the oil and parmesan mixture and than heat a frying pan with enough oil. The bread will soak some of it up but that’s what you want to make it golden brown and crispy.
Leave to drain on a bit of kitchen paper and serve on top of the salad.
I love adding chicken to this salad as well. You can cook the chicken and use it shredded or you can bake the chicken golden brown and add it once it is cooled down a bit.
Equally well suited for the salad is salmon. That can be either smoked salmon or you can use a salmon fillet which you cooked and flaked over the salad. Recently we have warm smoked salmon here which you can buy ready made. Super delicious.
Of course there are plenty of other vegetables you can add to this salad as well. Think about adding some grated carrots or grated zucchini. You can add some green peas, sweet potato cubes and basically most vegetables you’d normally use for a salad.
Lettuce and cucumber salad with lemon dressing
- 1 butter cup lettuce leaves separated
- 1 cucumber thinly sliced lengthwise
- 70 gr parmesan shaved
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp caster sugar
- sea salt and cracked black pepper
- To make the lemon dressing, place the lemon juice, oil, mustard and sugar in a bowl, sprinkle with salt and pepper and mix to combine. Set aside.
- Place the lettuce, cucumber and parmesan in a bowl, drizzle with the lemon dressing and toss to combine.
The nutritional values above are calculated per portion. The details are based on standard nutritional tables and do not constitute a professional nutritional advice.