One of my favorite childhood memories is my mom’s creamy cucumber salad with its tart-yet-sweet lemony dressing. Here I’ve zhuzhed it up a little by adding radishes and shallots, which supply crunch, color, and a welcome touch of peppery sharpness.

I’ve also “Mediterraneanized” it by replacing my mother’s heavy cream with a mixture of Greek yogurt and olive oil and sprinkling the salad with feta crumbs and nigella/black cumin/kalonji seeds (oops, forgot to add them to the picture… use your imagination!). These seeds taste deliciously nutty, boast a wide range of purported health benefits, and add a visual “pop” to this dish.

If you want to tone down the sharpish taste of the shallots and radishes, soak them in salt water for 10 minutes (1 quart cold water & 2 tsp salt); then spin them in a salad spinner or give them a good shake in a clean, dry cotton towel to remove excess moisture.

Delicious as a side for meat or fish dishes or as an appetizer (served, perhaps, over a bed of lightly dressed spring greens).

Herbed Radish & Cucumber Salad

Keyword: 15 Minutes Max., Salads, Sides, Vegetarian (or can be)
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 120kcal
Refreshing and crunchy -- the perfect side on hot summer days
Print Recipe


  • 1 food processor with a slicing attachment you can hand-slice everything, but a food processor saves so much time!


  • 1 bunch radishes washed, topped and tailed; should yield about 10 oz clean radishes
  • 1 large English cucumber washed & peel left on; halve lengthwise, scrape out seeds with a teaspoon, and slice into thin half-moon shapes. Fully prepped it should yield about 10 oz.
  • cup Greek yogurt plain
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • a pinch lemon zest finely grated
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice freshly pressed
  • 2 tsp granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper freshly ground
  • ½ cup fresh, tender herbs (like chives, parsley, mint, or dill) chopped
  • ¼ cup ¼ cup feta crumbs my favorite is sheep-milk feta, which tastes milder than cow’s milk feta
  • 2-3 tsp black cumin a.k.a. Nigella/kalonji seeds (optional); available online and at Mediterranean or Middle Eastern stores


  • In a medium salad bowl, combine yogurt, olive oil, sugar, salt, and lemon juice; whisk to combine.
  • Add drained radishes, cucumber, shallot, and herbs (reserve some of the herbs for garnish). Toss to coat; season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Top with feta crumbs, black cumin seeds, and reserved fresh herbs, and serve immediately.
  • This salad doesn't keep well (it renders a lot of juice when refrigerated). If you can't eat this much salad in one sitting, you could prepare the vegetables and dressing in advance, refrigerate them in separate containers, and dress and serve only as much as you need. Un-dressed and stored in a tightly sealed container, the sliced vegetables should keep for 2-3 days in the fridge.


Calories: 120kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 276mg | Potassium: 148mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 502IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 1mg