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It's Cucumber Time! Ideas?


Sony
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A couple of other suggestions come to my mind.

Simply dress thinly sliced cukes with creme fraiche and chopped chives. S&P to taste.

Now, growing up my Mom made a Polish version of this regularly. Thinly slice the cukes (seed & peel as desired.......) add some chopped scallions, and make a dressing of sour cream, an acid (vinegar or lemon juice), a bit of sugar, S&P, and some dill (fresh is obviously best, dried will do). All of this is to taste. Add some finely chopped hard boiled egg whites if you want, and press the yolks over the top through a strainer (a la Polonaise, dontcha know).

I still make this regularly. The dill is the key.

--Roberta--

"Let's slip out of these wet clothes, and into a dry Martini" - Robert Benchley

Pierogi's eG Foodblog

My *outside* blog, "A Pound Of Yeast"

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I found some wonderful ridged Armenian cukes at the Palo Alto farmer's market and used them to make nigella lawson's fattoush salad (from "Forever Summer"):

cukes, really ripe tomatoes, scallions, parsley, mint and minced garlic tossed with olive oil and lemon juice, then tossed with pieces of lightly toasted pita bread and sumac.

wonderful with her za'atar chicken and wonderful on its own.

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Our standard coming from an Austro-Hungarian mix of cultures was thinly sliced cucumbers lightly salted and then drained. Dressed with salt, vinegar, sugar, pepper sour cream. Served with a sprinkle of black pepper and paprika. Fresh chopped dill was added if really fresh and sweet. The dressing is sweet/sour to taste. If you are garlic lovers add finely minced garlic. A meal in itself with fresh bread or boiled potato.

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When I was just a little tike, back in the day, I used to walk around eating whole cucumbers. Just gnawing on it until it was gone. The makings of a future chef, I guess. :)

Anyway, I will second the sunomono as well as the refreshingly crisp thai salads with cilantro and mint. Oh yea, and cucumber cocktails are always perfect for the sweltering NYC summer days/nights.

-Chef Johnny

John Maher
Executive Chef/Owner
The Rogue Gentlemen

Richmond, VA

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I like to slice them lengthwise with a peeler to make ribbons. Drizzle with rice wine vinegar, salt and scallions. Add a fresh red chile if you want some heat. Yummy.

I also make a salad where I chop the cucumbers into chunky quarter-rounds and dress with a vinaigrette of balsamic vinegar, dijon, salt, black peppper and great olive oil. I often make this when we have store bought rotisserie chicken or dinner.

Lisa K

Lavender Sky

"No one wants black olives, sliced 2 years ago, on a sandwich, you savages!" - Jim Norton, referring to the Subway chain.

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Cucumber and radicchio slaw:

Peel, split lengthwise and seed the cucumbers. Julienne into fine slices. Sprinkle with 2 tsp. Kosher salt, toss and let drain in a colander for about 30 minutes. Pat dry. Whip up a slaw dressing with mayo, sour cream, dill seed, S&P. Add some acid (lemon juice is good) if it needs brightness. Toss cucumbers in dressing. Add some shredded radicchio for color.

Makes for an interesting diversion from standard cabbage-based slaw. Nice topping for sandwiches, pitas and burgers too.

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I would personally recommend cider vinegar over other varieties (it's the New Englander in me), plus salt (preferably fleur de sel) and pepper.

"If the divine creator has taken pains to give us delicious and exquisite things to eat, the least we can do is prepare them well and serve them with ceremony."

~ Fernand Point

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I would personally recommend cider vinegar over other varieties (it's the New Englander in me), plus salt (preferably fleur de sel) and pepper.

Sorry, forgot to include the format. Round slices only.

"If the divine creator has taken pains to give us delicious and exquisite things to eat, the least we can do is prepare them well and serve them with ceremony."

~ Fernand Point

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I also use a Mandoline or peeler to make ultra thin ribbons and serve them with a miso dressing for a lettuce free salad... but the most unique thing Ive done lately is

Cucumber Gelee :

Save all the seeds and trimmings from several cucumbers !!! as well as 2 or 3 whole cucumbers - skin on if theyre unwaxed for brighter color ( peeled if waxed )

puree in a food processor untill liquefied then strain through a fine mesh strainer to make about one and a half cups Cucumber Water.. ( save the strained out pulp for Tzaziki, salad topping or a facial...)

Add 2 teaspoons of powdered Gelatin to a bowl with 1/4 Cup of cucumber water and heat in a microwave to disolve the gelatin Do Not Boil !!

Mix in the remainder of the cucumber water, along with a pinch of salt , sugar , and a dash of lemon juice ( a drop or 2 of Tabasco is an option also ) and pour it onto a Ramekin or lidded plastic storage container and store in the fridge untill set .. slice into squares and use creatively..

basicly Cucumber Jello, sure to raise a few eyebrows. Same technique works well with beet juice as well. Ive also seen Cucumber Foam mentioned in some recipes but I havent got a recipe for that one.

* above recipe from Happy In The Kitchen by Michel Richard

" No, Starvin' Marvin ! Thats MY turkey pot pie "

- Cartman

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Like so many subtly flavored foods, cukes are easy to overdo. KISS applies.

Toast some good crusty bread. Spread the bread thinly with plain cream cheese and cover with sliced cucumbers. Top with some chopped chives, sea salt and just a whiff of cracked pepper.

The bread crunches. The cream cheese soothes and adds gravitas. The salt and pepper bite. The light, cool, delicious cuke flavor shines through. We make this for guests all the time as an appetizer, and it's always a huge hit.

Guess I need to pick up some crusty bread on my ride home...

Any dish you make will only taste as good as the ingredients you put into it. If you use poor quality meats, old herbs and tasteless winter tomatoes I don’t even want to hear that the lasagna recipe I gave you turned out poorly. You're a cook, not a magician.

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Cucumber dill salad: peel and slice cucumbers; dress with a mixture of mayo and apple cider vinegar; season with dill, salt and pepper.

Or my kids favorite way: peeled cut into spears on a plate with ranch dressing on the side for dipping. :biggrin:

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Though it has already been mentioned, lime and chili are delicious. I love to make fruit salad with chunks of melon, oranges, jicama, mango, seeded cucumber, squeeze of lime and then dust with chili powder.

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My two favourites are Greek salad (just say NO to lettuce in Greek salad!) and an Asian-flavoured cucumber salad.

For the former, chop cucumbers, tomatoes, green peppers, and sweet onions to roughly the same size (3/4", maybe?). Add in some black olives (oil-cured being my current fave). Sprinkle with oregano (the real stuff, not that Mexican pretender) and then dress with oil and vinegar (1 part oil to 3 parts vinegar). Mix it all up and let it steep. Just before serving, I add feta cheese to taste.

For the latter, peel the cucumbers then quarter lengthwise and seed them. Mix a dressing made up of soy sauce, rice vinegar, a wee bit of ginger, and some sesame oil. Toss the cukes with the dressing and then sprinkle with roasted sesame seeds.

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  • 10 months later...

They had pickling cucumbers yesterday at the farm stand we go to to buy tomatoes all summer. So I knew cucumber time had come! Marinated cucumbers are a staple in our house all summer long.

You start with just these:

gallery_34972_3925_173999.jpg

Sliced cucumbers, vinegar, onions, pepper and sugar (in our case Splenda)

Layer the vegetables with plenty of sugar and pepper:

gallery_34972_3925_85039.jpg

Then cover everything with vinegar and put in the fridge:

gallery_34972_3925_210821.jpg

I’ll taste these every day for a week and adjust the sugar and pepper – you never add enough at the beginning. Slowly they “pickle” and turn into a sweet, sour crunchy addition to a nice dinner plate of corn, tomatoes and some meat (meat and threes, indeed!). Every week or so I’ll add another sliced cucumber and maybe some onion, and finally at the end of the summer, we’ll eat the last one and sigh for the loss of them on the plate, but by then our appetites will be running to stews and braises and casseroles! These cucumbers, along with tomatoes, corn, crab and grilled meat and fish just mean summer to me.

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love it, my fave summer fresh pickle too!!!! (i add splenda, as well, instead of sugar, that way i can eat and eat and eat happily!).

sometimes i add fresh dill, and sometimes instead of dill, sometimes with a spoonful of wholeseed mustard, other times, dried red chile flakes and thinly shredded mint.......

and i plop it onto homemade banh mi, or with rice and veggie or meat plate, or ham and cheese and potato salad, or with anything......love the stuff!!!

Marlena the spieler

www.marlenaspieler.com

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This same scene played-out at our house yesterday, post farmers market - but without the sugar. I almost had some for breakfast this morning but convinced myself they would be better with more time. Maybe lunch.

Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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Every week or so I’ll add another sliced cucumber and maybe some onion,

Interesting. I make the quick pickle but start anew every time they are finished. Sounds like you are keeping the original liquid and "topping up" with vinegar and seasonings? Every type of cucumber was present in magnificent abundance at my farmer's market this morning and I indulged.

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Yummy!!  Does the splenda impart an aftertaste?

Not that I can detect. We used all Splenda last year and they were fine.

Every week or so I’ll add another sliced cucumber and maybe some onion,

Interesting. I make the quick pickle but start anew every time they are finished. Sounds like you are keeping the original liquid and "topping up" with vinegar and seasonings? Every type of cucumber was present in magnificent abundance at my farmer's market this morning and I indulged.

Yep, I just top up as needed. I've never done it any other way.

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It's cool that we all have similar fridge cucumber bowls. With ours, I use the cider vinegar, some water, sugar but a little less than you, dash of salt, garlic and a whopping pinch of red pepper flakes, or a few whole dry Thai Dragon chilis. It's similar to the green mango pickle I used to love on Guam. Zucchini is also really REALLY good like this, and gets a bit closer to the green mango texture.

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Cucumbers are all over the place here in Japan, too! My local veg stand has been stacked high with them. My husband came come on Saturday with a huge bag full of cucumbers and zucchinis from the market. I'm not sure if splenda is available here, but I'm willing to make those with real sugar, actually they look so good!

Two other ways I'm dealing with the cucumber bounty:

Harumi's Somen Salad, which has cucumber, tuna and somen all tossed together for an incredible pasta salad.

and

LA Times recipe for Korean cucumber banchan.

I can't help sharing this amazing cucumber trick I learned from my Japanese teacher - (maybe y'all already know it) if you take a small bit of salt and scrub it into the cucumber on the outside, then rinse it off, it takes the bitterness away from the peel. It works a charm on Japanese cucumbers, I'm wondering how it works on common NA cucumbers.

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I did this for lunch today, adding sweet onion slivers to the cucumber. I used 1/2 cup of cider vinegar for 3 T of sugar and found the sweet/sour ratio just right. These went great with a lunch of hummus, fougasse, and leftover potato salad.

Now I've got some thinly sliced little zucchinis marinating in the same bowl with the remaining cucumbers. I'm thinking of adding radishes, but I'm worried that they'll wilt too badly.

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Great ideas by all, I have cucumbers and zucchini coming out of my garden almost daily. Now I have something new to try on them. I also have green beans producing, I loved pickled green beans, I pick them while they are young and tender. Do you think I should blanch the beans first?

Edited by RAHiggins1 (log)
Veni Vidi Vino - I came, I saw, I drank.
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