On a hot day, there are few foods better for cooling off than cucumber, celery and avocado. The three combine here with a bright, spicy dressing to refresh you and liven up your taste buds.
The recipe calls for a bit of muddling. You can do this in a few ways: use a plastic bag and a rolling pin; put the ingredients in a mason jar and use a muddler or wooden spoon; or simply toss everything in a food processor and make very short work of the task. It's really up to what works best for you.
I added in some tomato slices to provide some color other than green, and it was a welcome flavor. You can also garnish with toasted sesame seeds, paprika or even some chopped cashews or pumpkin seeds. Get creative! This recipe is adapted from Bon Appetit, May, 2012.

Prep time: 45 minutes (including marinating time) 

Total time: 55 minutes 

Yield: 4 salads

Avocado and Cucumber Salad with Cilantro-Ginger Dressing


  • 1 bunch cilantro, leaves left on sprigs
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large cucumbers, chopped in 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 4 celery stalks, thinly sliced on a diagonal
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 avocados, halved, pitted and sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, sliced
  • 1 medium tomato, sliced (optional)
Cooking Directions
  1. Combine cilantro sprigs, ginger, olive oil and garlic in a bowl and muddle together until everything is well mashed.
  2. Add cucumbers and 1 teaspoon of salt. Stir to mix. Cover the bowl and set it aside, stirring occasionally, for about 35 minutes.
  3. Uncover the bowl and discard the cilantro sprigs. Mix in celery and lime juice. Season with more salt, if desired.
  4. To serve, divide the avocado and optional tomato slices on the plates. Spoon the cucumber salad over the slices. Garnish with the chopped cilantro and basil. Serve and enjoy!

cucumber avocado salad

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Jaymi Heimbuch ( @jaymiheimbuch ) focuses on wildlife conservation and animal news from her home base in San Francisco.

Avocado and Cucumber Salad with Cilantro-Ginger Dressing
Fast and refreshing, this is a great salad for a hot summer day.