Fifteen Ways to Enjoy Cucumbers

I have a couple of friends who don’t eat cucumbers.  I KNOW!.  But, before you judge, keep in mind that I believe everyone deserves love.  And one of them is allergic.  They make her mouth itch.

Cucumbers are in season right now where I live so I’m sharing my list of ways to ingest them because we have  more than a few and since most of them are Armenian, they are each a couple of feet long.

Spa water

Cucumber is a great way to perk up water.  Slice and add to your glass or a pitcher.  It is also nice to add rosemary, citrus fruit and fresh mint.

Sauteed Cucumber

I had this for the first time this year at our local farmer’s’ market when our pop-up chef Andy Thigpen made it for everyone to sample.  The key here is to tread lightly.  Cut your cukes into quartered slices, toss with a nice oil and fresh herbs like thyme and oregano and just get them nice and warm over medium heat.  They soften a bit and are surprisingly delicious.  Salt to taste.  (This is also wonderful in a nice veggie stock instead of oil)

Salad with mayo and dill

Cut up cucumbers and toss with a good mayo and fresh dill for a super fast summer salad.

Tomato Salad

Cukes and tomatoes are ripe at the same time and they belong together.  There are several variations on this salad but the base ingredients are cucumbers, tomatoes, balsamic, EVOO, and a fresh herb like basil, which is also in season in summer.  Add a hearty bread, cut into cubes and toasted, and you have a bread salad.

Layer Salad

Take diced cucumber, a crisp lettuce, frozen or fresh sweet peas, chopped green onion, and a good mayo (if you have a food processor you can make your own with unrefined olive oil in a couple minutes) and layer it all with the mayo somewhere in the middle.  

Tzatziki and on falafel

Cucumber is a star in Tzatziki sauce.  Blend a greek yogurt or even a heavy sour cream (never buy reduced fat anything.  It is disgusting and unhealthy) with garlic, dill and seeded cucumber.  Serve it on falafel or a gyro with diced cukes, fresh tomato and red onion.

With Hummus

Just slice it and eat it with hummus.  Sooo good.

Smoothie

Seed it and combine with lime juice, mint leaves and ice.  Add watermelon for a sweet version.  My friend Roger doesn’t like this so for the picky crowd, don’t just seed it but also remove the skin.  The key is making sure it is thoroughly blended.

Cucumber sandwiches

Not just for tea time, these are a nice finger food for a party.  Combine cream cheese, a little mayo, a pinch of garlic salt and fresh dill.  Spread it on toast or even a nice cracker, add a slice of cucumber and serve chilled.

As a snack on the run

Slice a cucumber, put it in your mouth and chew it.  It makes a great snack for when you are on the go.  They give you a satisfying crunch and serve as a nice pick-me-up instead of most grab and go foods that leave you tired.

Pickles (cold pack)

Cold packing pickles is the favorite around here.  Or you can aim for the healthiest route and get a real fermentation recipe from someone like Sandor Katz.  You’ll want to search for a recipe that fits your taste.  Some are salty, some are sweet.  

Relish

The right pickle relish can mean you are seconds from great tartar sauce or minutes from Chicago Dogs, which, if done with high quality meat, are the only acceptable way to eat hot dogs.  

Garnish on a Bloody Mary

Cucumbers do not need to be pickled to be a great garnish.  Alternate them with giant capers for your next morning gathering.

Cucumber Mojito

Add it to your favorite recipe or use as a garnish.

Israeli Tabouli

So, this is one of the greatest things in the world.

Cook and cool a cup of quinoa.

Combine it with diced tomatoes, dice onions (the greens and bulbs), a cup of cooked and cooled or canned garbanzo beans, a large handful of parsley, chopped, a small bunch of chopped mint leaves, two minced cloves of garlic, a good toss of olive oil, ½ cup of lemon juice, and salt if you want it.

Serve this with hummus and welcome to heaven.  

Still staring at a basket of cukes?  Try these recipe collections:

Bon Appetit

Real SImple

Food and Wine

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Love from the farm

Happy eating, Katy

4 thoughts on “Fifteen Ways to Enjoy Cucumbers

  1. Great ideas! I’ve had them with hummus quite a lot in the last few weeks. They are also good with a little dab of tomato basil or sesame garlic chevre. I also like the cuke water treat! Will have to try several of the other ideas you shared. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

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