A Spicy Cucumber Salad with Herbs and Poppy Seeds

A marvellous cucumber salad, complete with poppy seeds and herbs. Join me for dinner?

Cucumber Salad with Herbs and Poppy Seed

A spicy cucumber salad, just in time for a wonderful, summer-on-the-balcony lunch.

This is a recipe from Ottolenghi, and you can see all of our Ottolenghi recipes here.

Are you after other Cucumber Salads? Try Cucumber and Tomato Sunday Salad, Cucumber and Red Onion Salad, and Cucumber and Mung Salad.

You also might like to browse our collection of Cucumber Salads. Or simply browse our Late Summer dishes.

This time in other years I was making Indian Cucumber Salad, Crispy Garlic and Sage, Asparagus in Pastry, Baked Peppers, Red Peppers in Olive Oil, and a Strawberry Frappe.


Generally cucumber is treated like an ordinary vegetable, when a second or two of attention turns it into something spectacular.

Cucumber Salad with Herbs and Poppy Seed

Cucumber, Herbs and Poppy Seed Salad

Source : inspired by Ottolenghi, The Cookbook
Cuisine: general
Prep time: 5 mins
Cooking time: 0 mins
Serves: 4 – 6 people, depending how you use it

6 small or Lebanese Cucumbers
2 mild red chillies, seeded and sliced thinly
a small handful of herbs – coriander (cilantro), italian parsley, basil, mint
60ml rice vinegar or a really good white wine vinegar
125ml sunflower or walnut oil
2 – 3 Tblspn poppy seeds
2 Tblspn caster sugar or agave nectar
sea salt and some white pepper

Slice the cucumber on an angle to get slices that are 3 – 4 cm long. Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl, gently massaging all of the flavours into the cucumber. The taste of the salad should be sharp and sweet – taste and adjust the sugar, salt and vinegar to suit the quality of the cucumbers.

Serve immediately. If you make it ahead of time, leave the adjustment of the flavours until the last minute. Drain off any juice that has accumulated in the salad, mix again and adjust flavour.

I like to serve it with chopsticks – Japanese rather than Chinese, they are more delicate – prior to serving a main dish.


24 thoughts on “A Spicy Cucumber Salad with Herbs and Poppy Seeds”

  1. So good to hear from you! happy new year! i hope you’re having a wonderful year so far. i’ve been pretty absent too from the blogging world – just haven’t had time to cook these days! 🙂 enjoy the summer!

  2. You’ve no idea how I’ve missed your gentle voice.

    I’m growing cucumbers; a few plants, climbing a trellis in the back garden. The petals – bright lemon yellow – are tiny things, like a zucchini blossom, but sweeter and less showy. I cannot wait to harvest them and know precisely what I’ll do with them.

    I saw Mr Armstrong on the television (he’s incredible) and thought of you. It’s lovely to have you back, but I know how important it is to ste back from a flickering, glowing screen. Take your time!

  3. Ah! Welcome back after your holiday. I have been checking in now and then and was looking forward to reading again. The salad looks refreshing and oh so lovely. Ideal for the warmer climes I’ll be returning to soon.

  4. How lovely to have you back. Like Lucy I’ve missed your updates, and beautiful food. And this one is gorgeous.

    I can’t get enough of cucumbers. Something about that crunchy texture. But I tend to be a bit boring with them. Slices spread over hummous on toast, or mixed up with a whole lot of other salad ingredients. I rarely make it the star of the dish. Your salad is a lovely, lovely idea, so I shall be making this one soon.

  5. Doesn’t that cucumber dish ever look refreshing! Will have to try that when the weather is nice in this part of the world … need SOUP! 🙂

  6. Welcome back! Nice to see you posting again.
    We are still enjoying the pleasant weather before it gives way to a hot summer in a couple of months.

  7. Darling! It is so good to see you! I figured that you must be busy with work etc.

    Excellent cucumber salad. I love cucumbers but I have not bought any for the past 2 weeks as they are selling for US$1.50 per pound!

  8. I can feel the warmth of the summer through your blog and it feels nice :D. The winter here is being so long, snowy, windy and cold… can’t wait for the summer to arrive!
    My cucumbers always go into salads or into a gazpacho 😀

  9. Good to see you back, we missed you in the blogosphere. I still have a pumpkin at home and am going to try to make your delicous pumpkin risotto : ) Cheers

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