Without a Recipe: Cucumbers
With their characteristic cool crunch, cucumbers are the perfect summertime treat. Our farmers grew many unusual varieties, including pickling, slicing, heirloom, and cuca-melon varieties. They’re all equally great for salads and snacking, and most make great quick pickles. Because they’re so ever-present in the summertime bushel, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut. Read on for ideas for keeping it interesting–and cool!
- Make quick bread & butter pickles with your cucumbers this week. Slice and pack into jars, then boil 1 cup apple cider vinegar, 1/2 cup white vinegar, 1 1/2 cups water, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp dried dill, and 1 tsp mustard seed for 1-2 minutes until sugar dissolves. Cool for 10 minutes, then pour over cucumbers, seal jars and refrigerate for at least two hours. The longer they sit the better they will be. Pickles keep for 3 weeks.
- Crunchy cucumbers make a quick lunchbox meal with Asian flair. Slice and toss with our Basic Vinaigrette recipe made with rice wine vinegar and a few drops of toasted sesame oil. Toss with chopped toasted peanuts or sesame seeds and serve with chilled buckwheat noodles, Asian greens, or add grilled meat for protein.
- One of our favorite summertime sandwiches couldn’t be more simple: spread sourdough with softened chevre and layer sliced cucumbers and chopped kalamata olives between the slices. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper and enjoy.
- Grate, salt, and stir into plain yogurt with some chopped mint for a cooling Indian raita. Serve with grilled chicken, fish, or fiery curries.
- Cucumbers are great for juicing–try them with berries and basil in the heat of summer.
- Pair with cherry tomatoes, herbs, onion, olives, and feta for a chunky Greek salad to enjoy on its own or rolled up in a wrap with grilled chicken.
- Cucumbers make a great salsa with chopped radish, green onion, and cilantro. Enjoy on black bean & cheese quesadillas.