Cucumber noodle ribbons tossed with avocado, black olives and a homemade Italian dressing. This recipe is inspired by my Mom’s “famous” pasta salad. It’s nut-free, low-carb, paleo and vegan.
Cucumber noodle ribbons. Creamy avocado with black olives. The taste of family and joy.
Well that got heavy …
But that’s what this recipe is! This humble cucumber salad speaks volumes to me.
My mom makes this pasta salad (well did, before we stopped eating grains), and it has no other name than “Mom’s Pasta Salad”. We all know it, and we all love it, especially me.
I could no doubt LIVE off of her pasta salad growing up, and I asked for it at every possible moment. But the great thing about her pasta salad, is that she only made it for special occasions. Somehow, that fact makes the memory of her pasta salad, filled with colorful spiral pasta, tortellini, black olives and my very favorite homemade red wine Italian dressing, even better. More special, I guess.
When that pasta was in the house, I had to savor it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Like I said, I could have lived off the stuff.
When I set out to recreate the memory of my Mom’s famous pasta salad, I knew I wanted to keep it as close to the original as possible. The dressing, I kept the same in all it’s effortless glory.
But the pasta, tortellini and cheese part …
Well needless to say some things had to change.
The original recipe included diced cucumbers, so why not just make them the noodles? It works perfectly!
And the best, easiest replacement for cheese? Creamy avocado!
I kept this cucumber noodle salad unbelievably simple, and it truly speaks for itself. And though I’m tempted to save this salad for special days and occasions, I think I’ll just call it a new regular instead.
This salad can make a great side dish to any spring or summer meal, but really I just like to eat it on it’s own for lunch!
- 2 Large Persian cucumbers (also called hot house cucumbers)
- 2 (2.25 ounce) sliced black olives, drained
- 3 Small Hass avocados (or 2 medium-large avocados)
- 3 Green onions
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ½ Cup olive oil
- ¼ Cup red wine vinegar
- 1 Teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Heaping ¼ teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
- Start by cutting the ends of off the two large cumbers. Fit the spiralizer with the straight blade that makes ribbon noodles (this is the one without any triangles). Spiralize each cucumber, and then place the noodles into a bowl. I often end up with one long cucumber noodle, so be sure to break it up into smaller noodles if that happens!
- Cut the avocados in half and remove the pit. Scrape your thumb along the inside of the avocado skin (between the flesh and the skin) to easily remove the flesh, then dice the avocado flesh.
- Thinly slice the green onions, using the green end only.
- Toss the diced avocado, sliced black olive and green onion into the bowl with the cucumber noodles.
- Make the dressing by combining all of the ingredients in a glass container with a lid (mason jars work great!). Put on the lid, and shake the dressing until it's well combined.
- Pour the dressing over the salad (as much as needed to taste) and store any leftover dressing in the fridge.
- Sprinkle the salad with salt and pepper to taste and serve!