(8-18-22) In this year’s Ohio Cooperative Living reader recipe contest that asked for your best salad recipes. 

More than 300 submissions came in from around the state, ranging from simple garden salads to mayo-based egg or tuna concoctions, and a surprising number of gelatin-based dishes mixed with anything from maraschino cherries to cottage cheese — there are lots of different kinds of dishes referred to as salad. 

Carole Okuley, a member of St. Marys-based Midwest Electric, was chosen as one of the top three recipes with her recipe Cucumber Asian Salad. Okuley enjoys experimenting with recipes and food of all kinds. When her nephew married a woman from Taiwan, Carole was inspired to incorporate some Asian-inspired flavors into her cooking. When the call for entries came out, she says she just looked around her pantry to see what she could come up with, and this spur-of-the-moment cucumber salad impressed our judges with its unique combination of ingredients enough to award her a runner-up prize.

Okuley says –

“I will often just use whatever I have in the refrigerator and pantry. I don’t think I would ordinarily put pears into something like this, but I happened to have some, so I thought I’d try it. I’m glad I did.”

Yield – 4 Servings

Preparation time -15 minutes


  • 3 tablespoonslight soy sauce
  • 1⁄4 cupsesame oil
  • 1 teaspoonlime juice
  • 1 teaspoonground ginger
  • 1⁄4 cuppacked light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoonsred wine vinegar
  • 3 cupssliced mini cucumbers (1/4 inch thick)
  • 1 1⁄2 tablespoonssesame seeds
  • 1⁄4 cupfinely diced onion
  • 4 finely diced mint leaves (optional)
  • 1 Bosc pear (peeled, halved, seeded, sliced in 1/4-inch slices, and cut into approximately inch-long pieces)
  • 2 tablespoons grated carrot
  • 3 tablespoons slivered almonds
  • 1⁄2 red bell pepper (sliced like matchsticks)


Whisk together first six ingredients, then add the rest. Mix well to coat; let marinate a minimum of 2 hours or overnight. Toss a few times to coat well while marinating.