Lemon & Herb Cucumber Salad 

Published: July 09, 2018

Katherine Takayasu, MD, MBA, Center for Integrative Medicine & Wellness

How about changing up your next boring pasta salad? Try this delightful combination of fresh herbs, cucumber and whole grains!

Barley and farro are a great alternative to pasta because they are chewy and hold up well when dressed. Plus they are both whole grains, so their natural fiber and small amount of fat has not been stripped away. Whole grains allow for more steady absorption of carbohydrates into your body, keeping your blood sugar normal and hunger at bay. Consider substituting farro or barley into your own favorite pasta salad or side dish!

The Recipe

Serves 4. 


  • 1 cup uncooked barley or farro
  • 1 package Persian cucmbers (about 6), sliced
  • 1 cup packed fresh cilantro, chopped
  • ½ cup packed fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp whole grain Dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ½ tsp kosher or sea salt
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Juice of 2 lemons


The flavors of this salad intensify a little with time, but the ingredients hold up well in the fridge for a day or two in case you love leftovers like I do!



Katherine Wehri Takayasu, M.D., M.B.A. practices Integrative Medicine combining traditional Western medicine with evidence-based complementary modalities at Stamford Hospital in Connecticut. She helps patients heal naturally with acupuncture, mind-body medicine, botanical medicine, nutrition, and lifestyle optimization. She is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine at Columbia University/New York Presbyterian and teaches the next generation of doctors about healing the whole patient mind, body, and spirit. For her own wellbeing, Dr. Katie practices what she preaches. She engages in yoga and meditation regularly and enjoys experimenting with plant-based cuisine in the kitchen.

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