Food, Salads, Sides, tapa-tizers + snacks, Vegetarian

Crunchy Cucumber Salad With Mozzarella and Walnuts

Ohhhh my word. Friends. Bid your usual cucumber and tomato salad adieu, because this bad boy is off the charts.

Think crisp and refreshing cucumbers tossed in a homemade balsamic dressing with soft mozzarella balls, juicy tomatoes, roasted red peppers, black olives, and toasted walnuts.

Did I mention the soft mozzarella balls?

This Crunchy Cucumber Salad With Mozzarella and Walnuts has become a go-to at home throughout the summer months. Not only is it substantial, but it’s cooling, rejuvenating, and you don’t have to cook a damn thing. It’s also incredibly versatile; it makes for a fabulous light lunch, healthy snack, and dinner side.

Not big into olives? Read on for alterations.

I get that not everyone digs gargantuan olives, or olives in general, the way that I do. If that’s the case, you can omit them and increase the amount of the other veggies to make up for it. You can also have fun with the nuts! (Er, phrasing?) I love love love the toasted walnuts. They make the dish — along with the soft and pillowy mozza clumps, of course. Albeit pricey, toasted pine nuts are a great option if you’re up for it, and toasted sunflower seeds are another easy win. You could toast some slivered almond, but they just don’t offer the same deep and nutty flavor that the aforementioned nuts do.

(Have I become a nut snob?)

Crunchy Cucumber Salad With Mozzarella and Walnuts | Killing Thyme

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Crunchy Cucumber and Mozzarella Salad With Walnuts

This Crunchy Cucumber Salad With Mozzarella and Walnuts is super refreshing. It makes for a perfect light lunch, healthy snack, or dinner side!

Course Side Dish
Prep Time 15 minutes
Servings 4
Author Killing Thyme

Ingredients

Salad

  • 12 oz (approx. 2 large) cucumber, thinly sliced and halved I like to peel stripes into my cucumbers prior to slicing, because it looks pretty! But that's optional.
  • 8 oz fresh mozzarella balls (Bocconcini) If you purchase the pearl-sized balls, no need to halve them. If you buy the larger ones, you can halve them.
  • 4 oz grape tomatoes halved
  • 4 oz jumbo pitted black olives, halved
  • 4 oz roasted red peppers (from jar), thinly sliced and cut into bit-sized chunks
  • 1/4 cup red onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts, roughly chopped
  • Cracked black pepper,
  • Freshly chopped parsley

Sweet and Tangy Balsamic Dressing

  • 1.5 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  • 1.5 TBSP balsamic vinegar
  • 1 TBSP red wine vinegar
  • 1 TBSP Dijon mustard
  • .5 tsp pure honey
  • Pinch of salt, to taste

Instructions

Toasting the walnuts

  1. Heat a small pan over medium-low heat. Add the roughly chopped walnuts to the pan, and toast until fragrant/lightly golden. Keep a close eye on them and occasionally toss them around with a spoon. This should take between 5-7 minutes and may seem slow at first, but once they start to toast, they toast quickly. So it's important to watch them so they don't burn. Once nicely toasted, remove from heat and set aside.

Preparing the dressing

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together all of the dressing ingredients. Give it a taste and adjust to your preference.

Preparing the salad

  1. Prepare/cut all the veggies and mozzarella, and place them into a serving bowl. Set aside.

  2. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Hit the salad with some cracked black pepper, add the walnuts, and give the salad another quick toss.

  3. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley, or if you'd prefer, some ribboned basil.

Crunchy Cucumber and Mozzarella Salad With Toasted Walnuts | Killing Thyme
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11 Comments

  • Reply Alexandra | Occasionally Eggs July 10, 2017 at 1:22 pm What a perfect summer salad! I only recently started liking walnuts but now I can't get enough - my budget can't keep up, but sunflower seeds are a great alternative, like you said.
  • Reply kellyohnona July 7, 2017 at 5:40 pm I love the combination of ingredients! you salads are always so inspiring!
    • Reply Killing Thyme July 8, 2017 at 9:59 am B'aww, thanks Kelly! I appreciate that :)
  • Reply Elaine @ Flavour and Savour July 7, 2017 at 10:33 am Who wouldn't love this salad? Love me some crunch in a meal-in-a-bowl like this one! And no, I won't be leaving out the olives!
    • Reply Killing Thyme July 8, 2017 at 9:58 am I'm so glad you love olives, because I can't imagine this salad without them! I feel sad for those who dislike olives :( Haha.
  • Reply Gabrielle @ eyecandypopper July 7, 2017 at 10:32 am You had me at walnuts! OMG I love walnuts, especially in salads! Although I usually use them raw for health benefits, toasted would be extra tasty. Yummy! I just noticed Dijon mustard and honey in your dressing... a girl after my own heart! I'm salivating!
    • Reply Killing Thyme July 8, 2017 at 9:57 am Walnuts in salads are pretty much the greatest thing ever. And yes! Dijon and honey makes it into most of my homespun dressings. They just really tie things together.
  • Reply Ayngelina (@Ayngelina) July 7, 2017 at 9:30 am You had me at mozzarella balls, I'll take any excuse to eat them!
    • Reply Killing Thyme July 8, 2017 at 9:55 am Meeeeee too, sister!
  • Reply Laura July 3, 2017 at 11:39 am Yay for filling, no-cook recipes! Ok nut snob, how about pecans in this one? A certain man in my house doesn't like walnuts or pine nuts! And I'm with you on the almonds.
    • Reply Killing Thyme July 3, 2017 at 12:58 pm Hahaha. So. I almost mentioned pecans as a go-ahead, but I wasn't sure as I'd never actually tried them in this before. BUT. I think they'd work swimmingly. So give it a shot and let me know! I think you'd love this salad :)

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