Strawberry Cucumber Salad is so fresh and delicious, you probably should double this recipe! It's sweet, crunchy, salty, herby, and tangy all at once. It goes well with most any typical Spring or Summer fare, which is great because you won't be able to get enough of it! Who doesn't love summer salads with strawberries?!
Is Mozzarella Cheese Healthy?
If you've followed me for any length of time, you may be surprised to see mozzarella cheese in a recipe. I use feta cheese here and there (check out Heart Healthy Pizza and Charred Corn Salad), but in general cheese is an ingredient I don't use much. Why?
Cheese tends to be quite high in sodium and saturated fat; two things that aren't good for heart health. Once in a while is totally fine to include, but I like to try to amp up flavor in other ways.
In this cucumber strawberry salad, we use fresh mozzarella. It really does bring something no other ingredient could, so we added it. Fresh mozzarella is lower in sodium than most cheese, but still adds some creamy brininess, so it was the perfect win-win here. I used fresh mozzarella pearls I found at Aldi, but you can use any size and cut it up to whatever size works best for you. We're using only 1 oz per person, and make sure to keep it there. Although fresh mozzarella can be called a healthier cheese, it still has 3 or 4 grams of saturated fat and about 85mg sodium per 1 oz serving. It's easy to eat lots of it because it's so tasty!
What's the best cucumber to use for salad?
The answer is a little individual, but I prefer English cucumbers or Persian cucumbers in salad. English cucumbers are the so-called seedless cucumbers, and what we're using in this balsamic cucumber salad. I like them because their skin is much thinner, and tends not to get bitter like some other cukes with thicker skins do. Also, since the seeds are so tiny/nonexistent, there's no "slimy" seedy middle to remove. They're a great slice-and-eat cucumber!
Persian cucumbers are very similar to English cucumbers in their taste, thin skins, and seedlessness, but they are tiny, and fun for snacking on whole. They'd be great to use in this recipe, too. I usually only buy Persian cucumbers in the summer, because it seems like their quality is hit or miss out of season (I have no official data to back that up!).
What to eat with Strawberry Cucumber Salad
This delicious salad is a side dish, so it could really go with so many things! Here are some of my favorites:
- Mediterranean Black Bean Quinoa Burgers
- BBQ Chicken Breast
- Lentil Baked Beans
- Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers
- Grilled Salmon or Trout
- Marinated Vegetable Skewers
- Zucchini Lasagna Rolls
FAQs and Substitutions
Yes, but the "fresh feel" of the salad may not be as high - still delicious though. To use dried basil instead of fresh, use about 1 tablespoon, and mix it in with the dressing instead of sprinkling it over the salad.
Most stores carry it right beside regular balsamic vinegar for about the same price. We use white balsamic mostly for aesthetics!
Yep. Just be prepared for the color of the balsamic to cover all the salad ingredients. Will still taste amazing!
If you make Strawberry Cucumber Salad with Basil and Mozzarella, tell me in the comments! I know you'll love it!
Strawberry Cucumber Salad with Basil and Mozzarella
For the Salad
- 1 cup slices of Seedless Cucumber (about ½ of a cucumber)
- 1 cup slices of Strawberries
- 2 oz Fresh Mozzarella Pearls
- ¼ cup Fresh Basil, thin sliced (chiffonade)
For the Dressing
- 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 tablespoon White Balsamic Vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Honey (optional)
- Toss all the ingredients for the salad together, or arrange decoratively on a plate if desired.
- In a small bowl, whisk all the dressing ingredients together.
- If eating immediately, toss the salad with the dressing.
- If eating later, keep the dressing separate until just before serving.