Bulgarian Cucumber Salad with Yogurt and Walnuts

Bulgarian Cucumber Salad with Yogurt and Walnuts

Enjoy this light salad with a sliced fresh tomato and some olive oil-grilled artisan bread for a cool summer lunch. Persian cucumbers are my favorite kind for salads. They are sweet, crunchy, and seeding is rarely necessary. If you can’t find Persian cukes, any small, tight kind will work.


  • 1 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons agave nectar or sugar
  • 6 small (6-inch) cucumbers, very fresh (peeled only if skin is bitter)
  • 1 teaspoon minced or crushed garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons minced fresh dill
  • 1 cup firm yogurt (whole milk or low-fat/nonfat Greek)
  • 1 cup lightly toasted California walnuts, chopped
  • Fresh mint leaves (about 20)


  1. Heat a kettle of water to boiling. Place the onion in a colander in the sink. When the water boils, pour it over the onions and let them sit for a few minutes to drain. Meanwhile, combine the vinegar and sweetener in a medium-small bowl and whisk to blend. Add the onions (okay if still warm) to the vinegar, toss with a fork, and let this sit while you prepare the rest of the salad.
  2. Cut the cucumbers into bite-sized chunks and place in a bowl. Stir in the garlic, salt, pepper, and the onions plus all their liquid. Stir to blend, continuing to stir as you add in the yogurt and dill. Cover and chill completely.
  3. Taste to adjust salt and pepper. Stir in the walnuts just before serving. Top with torn or freshly julienned mint leaves. Serve cold.