Light and fresh White Bean and Cucumber Salad is a wonderfully summery side dish. Made with cucumbers, beans, spring onions, parsley, and vinegar dressing, this Greek style salad is a great addition to picnics, potlucks, and barbecues. This recipe is super easy to make, and it's vegan and gluten-free.
A few years ago, Dennis came home from work with a bag of basil and a few silver slicer cucumbers. They were a gift from fellow vegan Liz, who is married to his coworker Anthony. The basil immediately found its way into a batch of pesto. The cucumbers were destined for salad.
If you Google “white cucumbers,” you will find lots of info telling you not to eat them. These cucumbers are meant to be white though, and they’re perfectly fine to eat. Silver slicer cucumbers are mild and juicy, and their skin isn’t as thick as the green varieties. I've looked, but I haven't been able to find them in any store.
My initial instinct was to just slice one up and toss into my usually large lunch salad, but as I was about to cut into one, I realized it was too unusual looking to not photograph first. And then photographing it turned into creating a salad around it. And thus, this cucumber salad recipe was born.
Cucumber salad is typically made with red onions and dill. I’ve changed the dill to chives in my recipe, because Dennis doesn’t like dill. (Which I think is nuts, because it’s delicious.) And I’ve used scallions instead of red onions, because neither one of us like raw onions. (At least we agree on that!)
I’ve added a pinch of mustard, because I like the tang it provides. I also threw in some white beans for a little extra oomph and texture.
What You Need
- Sea salt
- White wine vinegar or champaign vinegar
- Dijon mustard
- Black pepper
- Scallions (spring onions)
- White beans, such as cannellini or navy beans
- Red pepper flakes
See the recipe card for exact amounts.
How to Make White Bean and Cucumber Salad
This salad is super easy to whip up!
- First, you place the sliced cucumbers in a colander and sprinkle them with salt. You should let them sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
- While the cucumbers are sitting, you whisk together the dressing ingredients.
- Then you toss the cucumbers and dressing together with the rest of the salad ingredients. That's it!
You may be tempted to skip the salting step, but it will help draw out water from your cucumbers. If you skip the step, your salad may be a little too watery. You can rinse them after they've sat for 10 minutes or so with the salt, but it's not necessary.
It's a good idea to store your salad in the fridge for a few hours to let all of the flavors combine before you serve it.
Customizing Your Salad
- If you'd rather use chickpeas instead of white beans, go for it!
- You can add chopped avocado to diced tomato for a little extra flavor, if you'd like.
- If you happen to have a some sumac on hand, you can add it to the dressing or sprinkle it on top
Serving Your Salad
- This salad makes a great side dish for a veggie burger or sandwich.
- It’s a terrific appetizer, too. Serve it on small plates before your meal.
- You can also chop the cucumber into smaller pieces and serve it on top of slices of crusty bread.
White Bean and Cucumber Salad
- 2 medium cucumbers thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ⅓ cup white wine vinegar or Champaign vinegar
- 2 tablespoons chopped chives
- 1 clove garlic minced
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon black pepper plus more to taste
- pinch red pepper flakes optional
- 2 scallions sliced
- 1 cup cooked white beans (such as cannellini or navy beans)
- ¼ cup chopped parsley loosely packed
- Place the sliced cucumbers in a colander and sprinkle them with the salt. Let it stand for 5 or 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- While the cucumbers are draining, whisk together the vinegar, chives, garlic, mustard, black pepper, and red pepper flakes.
- Place the cucumbers in a large bowl along with the scallions and beans. Pour on the dressing and toss to coat. Gently fold in the parsley.
- Refrigerate for an hour or two before serving, to allow all of the flavors to combine.
- Sprinkle with more red pepper flakes and black pepper before serving, if that’s your thing.