Chilled Spring Cucumber-Dill Salad with Cashews and Quinoa

Chilled Spring Cucumber-Dill Salad with Cashews and Quinoa

I’m sitting here at my desk and there’s a large box sitting in the middle of my living room.

Inside the box, is my wedding dress from Kleinfeld’s. I have strict instructions not to open the box.

Do you know how hard that is? Not to try on my wedding dress that I’ve waited for since October?!

Chilled Spring Cucumber-Dill Salad with Cashews and Quinoa

Yes, that’s right – the dress is here.

Ever since it arrived around 12pm, I’ve been the world’s most productive person. I’ve done everything in my power to not think about the dress.

I’ve written about 3 full, amazing recipes.
I responded to all my blog comments from the past two days.
I’ve planned my blog calendar for the rest of the month.
I’ve answered all of the emails in my Inbox.

This all happened within an hour, by the way. And now, I’m writing this blog post. Thank gosh I have a 3pm meeting in the city today, because if I didn’t, I might crack.

Chilled Spring Cucumber-Dill Salad with Cashews and Quinoa

I can’t wait until Lu gets home and can distract me from this box.

But for now, it’s all about this simple cucumber noodle salad. Since the cucumbers are in noodle form and not diced or cubed, they’re so much more satisfying and really make a complete dish that can serve as a main or a filling side.

I used a thicker blade, to give the cucumber noodles more surface area for the vinaigrette and quinoa to stick to.

Chilled Spring Cucumber-Dill Salad with Cashews and Quinoa

Now, this recipe calls for the quinoa to be cooked and then chilled for at least 2 hours (preferably 12.) I think the flavors and consistency are better when the entire dish is chilled, but if you can’t wait and don’t have the time – add everything together without chilling the quinoa first. After all, you’re the one eating it!

The lemon vinaigrette is simple and the dill adds a refreshing tang to every bite. I love the raw, unsalted cashews – they give the dish that healthy dose of fat and mineral punch. They also have that lovely buttery tasty!

This dish goes well as a side dish alongside some white flaky fish or some avocado. It’s totally versatile and very easy to whip up (just chill your quinoa ahead of time!)

Chilled Spring Cucumber-Dill Salad with Cashews and Quinoa

The trick to spiralizing cucumbers? Pat them dry right afterward to eliminate excess moisture:

Now…. I’m going to go get ready for my 3pm meeting and not think about this dress. Hope you love the recipe!

What are some of your favorite ways to spruce up cucumbers?

Nutritional Information & Recipe


Chilled Spring Cucumber-Dill Salad with Cashews and Quinoa

Yields 4

5 minPrep Time

20 minCook Time

25 minTotal Time

Save Recipe


  • For the salad:
  • 1/2 cup dry quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 12 large asparagus spears
  • 1 large cucumber
  • 1/4 cup unsalted cashews
  • For the dressing:
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon country Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon freshly minced dill


  1. Place the quinoa and water in a small pot, cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and let cook for 15 minutes or until quinoa fluffs up with a fork. If water evaporates completely, add more in tablespoons.
  2. Once the quinoa is cooked, immediately transfer to a bowl, cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, preferably for 12 or more hours.
  3. While quinoa chills, prepare the rest: peel the asparagus using a vegetable peeler and set aside. Then, spiralize the cucumbers with Blade B or C. Pat the noodles dry thoroughly, using paper towels. Roughly chop the cashews. Set the asparagus, cucumber noodles, asparagus and cashews aside in the refrigerator in a large mixing bowl.
  4. Prepare the dressing: combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk together. Set aside in the refrigerator.
  5. Once the quinoa is done chilling, add it to the mixing bowl with the other ingredients, pour over the vinaigrette and toss to combine thoroughly.
  6. Serve immediately or chill again in the refrigerator for future use.


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  1. are you using the strips of peeled asparagus or am I missing them in the picture?
    Thanks. Can’t wait to make this!!!

  2. I am also confused with the asparagus. Is it raw? Are you just using the strips?

  3. WHO gave you those strict instructions?–your Mom, your Maid of Honor?—who says you can’t try on the dress? lolol!!!

    • Haha – the dress is from Kleinfeld’s and they told me not to open the box! I guess, they don’t want to risk you damaging the dress before you bring it in for the fitting? Thankfully, my fitting is on Saturday so I don’t have to wait much longer!

  4. Only one cucumber? And…asparagus stalk only, no tips? I don’t see it in the picture, maybe because they are just strips? That seems barbaric to me LOL, I love asparagus too, I would roast it and add it along with the cucumber noodles and quinoa. Girls, I think Ali could be a little distracted by a certain big box that is definitely on her mind no matter how she tries to ignore it! :D Please confirm later, Ali, as I want to make this! Thanks!

    • And yes – I had the same question as Wendy– *why* can’t you open the dress box? At first I thought you meant you had to wait for Lu, but even when he gets home you can’t open it? If Lu is not supposed to see the dress before your big day (not sure if you’re following that sometime “rule” of weddings), then you should open it before he gets home! :)

      • Haha – the dress is from Kleinfeld’s and they told me not to open the box! I guess, they don’t want to risk you damaging the dress before you bring it in for the fitting? Thankfully, my fitting is on Saturday so I don’t have to wait much longer!

    • Sorry for the confusion! The asparagus is peeled and then added into the salad. It basically makes a very lovely, light, fluffy asparagus taste to the dish – they are strips. Here’s another example where I used shaved asparagus:

    • No problem, Ali – we didn’t mean to bust your chops so much, I was only confused and didn’t mean to question your recipe. Sorry our asparagus comments annoyed some people. I will limit my questions in the future.

      Whatever Kleinfeld’s says to do! :)

      • :-) I was only confused b/c some people peel the outer layer off of asparagus and discard. Could have meant any number of things. Ali rocks tho… and her recipes!!!

  5. Is the asparagus raw? Why is there no asparagus in the recipe photos or description? Another half-baked recipe – I can’t use this.

  6. Can you clarify or change the recipe – unclear as to what to do with the asparagus!

  7. I’d have that box open before the door closed on the delivery person.

  8. Hi Ali,
    Your white lacy dress is beautiful. I can only imagine how beautiful your wedding dress is!
    Ali, the recipes you come up with are amazing. I appreciate all the work you put into all this.
    I do have one request though. The photos of your recipe are always so beautiful. I don’t want to print the whole blog to get the pictures. Is there any way you can include a little photo with the “printed” recipe? Thanks for everything….

  9. How about everyone just takes a little chill pill about the asparagus, mkay? I mean, it’s asparagus. If you like the whole piece, use the whole piece. If you like it roasted, roast it. If you want to chop it rather than peel it, do it. She notes in “step 3 – peel the asparagus” so, um, peel the asparagus you guys. It’s in the photos in a different form than most of us are use to clearly. But it’s not the end of the world, it’s not a half-baked recipe. For crying out loud, this is not the END ALL. Use your best judgement and make the recipe – preparing the asparagus in a different manner isn’t going to kill anyone.

  10. The recipe says to peel the asparagus. So, obviously, this is what’s known as shaved asparagus. And of course you can add the tips! (I think I’ll blanch the asparagus and shock it in cold water first, but it would be fine raw.) The beauty of so many of Ali’s recipes is you can do what you want? Add other ingredients. Don’t like raw cashews? Use peanuts or almonds or whatever you like! I can’t wait to make this! I love the idea of serving it with a flaky whitefish.

    Now, Ali, please do explain why you can’t open the box!! But, way to rock your self control!!!!

  11. Yum! This looks delicious!

    Random Q but can I order your spiralizer on Amazon?

  12. I can see the asparagus peels in the photo. Everyone keep calm and look a little closer. :-)

    Can’t wait to try this. Thanks for all you do, and best wedding wishes to you! Please post a pic of that dress after the wedding!

  13. OK, Ali. Now, this is totally different (but exactly the same!?) I am Scottish in my ancestry, and I was married with a piper and I wore my Clan’s colors in a kilt. My wife and I both ‘dressed up’ for that day, almost 25 years ago. And, because the kilt had to be made in Scotland, and I had ordered it in Canada (we lived in upstate NY at the time) when the package arrived with my kilt, sporran, jacket, etc. did I wait? Heck, no! (I had to see if I still fit the darn thing!) So, your choice on that dress box thing… just sayin’…. as a guy. LOL

    Now, as to this recipe. Dill, cucumber, and summer are my three favorite flavors. You could also add cooked garbanzo beans instead of the cashews, if you didn’t want the nuts. I’m still waiting to get my machine, even though I ordered it last month (harrumph) but when it gets here, the family is having a LOT of inspiralized meals. Boy, these look good.

    Congrats, By the way, on the upcoming wedding, etc. God bless.

  14. I live out in the country. I live 30 minutes away from a little grocery store and 50 minutes from a “big” grocery store so I have gotten really good at making ingredient substitutions. I look at recipes as guidelines/great ideas and often tweak a recipe in some way anyhow, whether adding more seasoning or adding a little more or less of something- I guess I’m a bit of a rebel and am not into being “exact”. It usually turns out great in the end and it’s not like I have a “recipe police” checking if I followed a recipe exactly. I too am very excited about getting the spiralizer in the mail soon.

  15. ahhh so exciting! Congrats!!! This recipe looks divine! Pinned!

  16. Hi Ali! I just found your blog and book two weeks ago, loving it!

    Did you consider subbing cashews for garbanzo beans? Feta also sounds like a lovely add to this recipe. Can’t wait to try!

  17. This looks amazingly tasty. . .can’t wait to try it! Good luck with the dress fitting–enjoy every minute of your wedding prep.

  18. KUDOS to you for your self control! Maybe next time I need to get a ton done, I’ll hide a chocolate bar from myself, then not open it till I’m done ;-)

  19. Fantastic recipe! Bought “skinny” asparagus & shaved it raw with a peeler. A bit of work, but delicious. Even my 4 yr old thought it was fantastic. The only thing I would change is a note to add the cashews fresh and not put them in the fridge with the leftovers…..better crunchy than mushy:-). Thanks for an inspiring spring recipe!

  20. Don’t open the dress…..I get it!
    Recipes are great.

  21. If making this for next day’s lunch is it best to add dressing at time of eating? – I don’t want to make ahead only for everything to go soggy

  22. This might be the most refreshing dish I’ve ever made. Tastes like summer in a bowl! I’ll definitely be making it again!

  23. Hi Ali,

    Nice to meet you here. I’m new to your website. I wonder what is the difference between the category “salad” & “pasta salad”?


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