… because what is life without good food?

Cucumber Pesto Buttermilk Salad

Cucumber Buttermilk Pesto Salad with Feta & Pinons

This is one of those salads that came to me in the middle of the night.  I was trying to think of something different to do with cucumbers beyond the regular cucumber salads … hadn’t come up with anything, but then about 3 a.m., I woke up and thought “Pesto! Pesto would be awesome on cucumbers!” So yeah, I guess I never stop thinking about food, even when I’m sleeping.

I have a bunch of English cucumbers my mom gave me from her garden. They are the BEST cucumbers, so crunchy and sweet, tiny little seeds that are never too big, and no sharp bitter taste at all. She had brought in a box of them and said to me “this is today’s pick … tomorrow we will have another bunch like this. So you may as well take them all.”

I found a bit of buttermilk in my fridge and thought I should use that up, so I mixed it with the pesto along with some yogurt to make the dressing. Together they made this lovely creamy blend that made me smile. I had actually intended to put some chickpeas in this salad as well, but I completely forgot about them until the salad was gone. Oh well, the chickpeas will go into something else!

Cucumber Buttermilk Pesto Salad

Cucumber Pesto Buttermilk Salad

with Tomato, Feta Cheese and Pinons


  • 2  cups chopped English cucumber (or other fresh garden cucumber … )
  • 1  cup cherry tomatoes, halved, or chopped fresh tomato
  • Feta cheese crumbles
  • Pinons, toasted
  • Fresh basil leaves, for garnish (if desired)


  • 2 Tablespoons buttermilk
  • 2 Tablespoons nonfat plain yogurt
  • 2 Tablespoons pesto (my recipe is here)

Chop up the cucumber and toss them in a bowl with the tomatoes, saving a few tomatoes for garnish on top of the salad. Mix up the buttermilk, yogurt and pesto till smooth and then toss the cucumber/tomato mixture with enough dressing to just coat the vegies. Top with feta cheese crumbles, pinons, the reserved tomatoes and fresh basil leaves and serve.

Cucumber Buttermilk Pesto Salad

This recipe was shared at Fit & Fabulous FridaysSummer Salad Sundays and Raw Food Recipes.

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12 Responses

  1. Very creative dressing with the pesto, I have a jar I need to use so I will try! Thanks!

    July 25, 2012 at 8:54 am

    • Ann

      Awesome Cathy! Enjoy 🙂

      July 25, 2012 at 8:57 am

  2. hi ann! wanted you to know i literally saw this email in my inbox this morning, realized i had everything to make that dressing already in my fridge (including tons of homemade pesto from my basil crop!), and immediately made the dressing to toss with my lunch vegetable salad. it was a perfect fit! thankfully i thought ahead and made a double batch so i’ve got more to get to this next week. thanks for the recipe!

    July 25, 2012 at 10:29 pm

  3. Why do all great ideas come in the middle of the night? Actually, this happens to me alot and I needed to start writing it down because by the morning I will forget. Presto!!! Its pesto!!! sounds like a yummy dish. Take Care, BAM

    July 25, 2012 at 10:38 pm

    • Ann

      I know! It keeps me up at night. I should keep a little tablet next to me to write them down.

      July 26, 2012 at 9:07 am

  4. I am a pesto believer. I don’t think their is many things that can’t be made better with pesto.
    It is about time for me to do my basic pesto base that I freeze so I can have it in the middle of winter.

    July 25, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    • Ann

      I do that too! I’m still using pesto from last summer in fact.

      July 26, 2012 at 9:06 am

  5. A delicious summer salad…love the pine nuts!

    August 1, 2012 at 10:06 pm

  6. That’s funny, middle of the night flashes of inspiration! I often lie in bed thinking about food too! This looks delicious, I love the idea of using pesto. Thanks for sharing this with Summer Salad Sundays, look forward to seeing you again soon!

    August 2, 2012 at 12:49 pm

  7. Sooooo many of my top-fave ingredients here, Ann! 🙂 I just realized that I don’t have any feta in the fridge, but tomorrow is another day! Wish I had grown cukes this year… xoxoxo

    August 4, 2012 at 12:18 pm

  8. Annie

    Made this salad the other night. It was lovely. Have now made it twice using both red and green pesto and it works beautifully with either. Thanks for a lovely recipe

    March 1, 2013 at 5:26 am

    • Ann

      Why thank you Annie! I am so glad you enjoyed it … thank you so much for taking the time to come back and tell me. 🙂

      March 1, 2013 at 6:47 pm