Beat the late summer heat with cool cukes, alluring avocado

A sesame cucumber and avocado salad. This cooling salad by Hetty McKinnon can easily turn into dinner if you serve it with rice, noodles or simply cooked chicken or tofu on the side. (Ryan Liebe/The New York Times)

Why we love it

Crispy cucumber and creamy avocado perform a delicate dance with earthy notes of sesame in this most simple of salads. Thin-skinned varieties such as Persian or English cucumbers work best, as they are almost seedless with a robust flesh that stays crisp. But don't worry if you only have access to seedy cucumbers: Peel them if their skins are thick, then cut them in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds before slicing. No-cook and ready in a matter of minutes, this elegant salad can be dressed up according to your mood. It is a satisfying meal on its own, but it can also be served alongside cold soba, or with brown rice and a fried or jammy egg on top.

Yield: 4 servings

Total time: 10 minutes

What you need

For the sesame dressing:

2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

1 tablespoon sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce or tamari

1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes

For the salad:

2 ripe avocados

1 pound cucumbers (such as Persian or English), trimmed and thinly sliced

2 green, red or purple scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced

Kosher salt (such as Diamond Crystal) and black pepper

Toasted sesame seeds, for topping

What you do: