Recipe: Cucumber and Squash Summer Salad

Need a good summer go-to salad? Something that is light, refreshing, and flavorful? Look no further than this fantastic recipe that we have tweaked. A few years ago, the girls and I began a summer tradition of “cooking around the world”. We have used the Olympics and Soccer World Cups as inspiration in the past. It has always been a fantastic experience and often some of the recipes that we try become quick family favorites. This particular recipe is a version of one that comes from the Ivory Coast in Africa.

I’m going to be completely honest. When I heard that I would be trying raw summer squash I flinched. I’m a southern girl who up until that point thought the best way to eat squash was fried with cornmeal. The first time we tried it, I was hooked and so were the girls. The combination of sweet, sour, and spicy was wonderful.

The tweaking that we did was adding garlic, less vinegar, and more red pepper. Feel free to tweak it as well! It’s quick and easy to make as well as the perfect addition to a potluck get together. I never worry that someone else will make it and I have yet to bring leftovers home! Also, if you find yourself, as I do, with a bounty of summer squash or cucumbers, this is a great way to make use of them!

Cucumber and Squash Summer Salad

Yield: 12


  • 2 cups cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups summer squash, thinly sliced
  • 1 large red onion, sliced thin
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 2/3 cup vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper (flakes or ground)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder.


  1. In a large bowl add cucumbers, squash, and onion.
  2. In a small bowl add hot water and sugar. Stir until dissolved.
  3. To water/sugar mixture, add vinegar, salt, pepper, red pepper, and garlic, mix thoroughly.
  4. Pour liquid mixture over vegetables and then stir.
  5. Refrigerate at least 1 hour and stir before serving.