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It's Cucumber Time! Ideas?

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Another change I am making this year is that the onions are in their own jar. I have been making them throughout the year. My thinking is that I can mix them if I want to, but that I will have the separate flavors as desired. Perhaps my purist attitude this year is because I have made a soft rule that the cucumbers have to come from my garden or be gifted from a garden with a supplement from one local farm stand that grows them within a mile of me.

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I think this year will be the summers of multiple cucumber bowls. I like a standard one and then a variation presented itself. Got a bag of small tender red onions from the 99 cent store, the dried cranberries caught my eye as a lovely color match to the onions, and a new bowl resulted that has been repeated a few times. Cucumber, chopped dried cranberries, thin sliced red onion half moons, sugar/salt/black pepper (Splenda actually) and rice vinegar.

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My cucumber plants are finally producing! Last night, I made a big bowl of tzatziki w/ toasted pita chips for munching during last night's prep for today's July 4 bbq. no real recipe--lots of grated cucumber (salted and drained), greek yogurt, finely minced garlic, a little lemon, salt and pepper. I like to mix the yogurt w/ seasonings a bit ahead of adding the cucumbers so the flavors can meld and the garlic can mellow. Tasty and healthy.



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Mr. Kim came home from the farm stand on Saturday with a pile of cucumbers, so I started them yesterday. I did my regular cider vinegar this time, but next week we'll grab some more and I will do a rice vinegar batch too.

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For dinner tonight, I needed something to go with leftover steak, and it was way too hot to even grill outside.

So I seeded and sliced up some lovely pickle cukes, added a bunch of quartered cherry tomatoes, salt, pepper, and a little Hellman's. Much, much, better than the sum of its parts. I guess this is about as American as it gets, and I'm reverting to my childhood roots in the 60s.

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No cukes in my garden yet, unfortunately (plenty of flowers though!), but got some pretty nice seedless ones at Wegman's for a salad at our 3rd of July party. With spicy chicken and rich noodles, I wanted a cooling component and came up with a combo of cuckes, red onion, apple cider vinegar, sugar and mint. Lovely!


Corinna Heinz, aka Corinna

Check out my adventures, culinary and otherwise at http://corinnawith2ns.blogspot.com/

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Just made my cucumber bowl. Thinly sliced cukes, plain yogurt, some garlic, salt, pepper, a little rice vinegar for extra tartness and a spoonful of sugar. More fresh pepper to go on top when I eat them tomorrow at lunch. I like my cucumbers sweet, tangy and salty.

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Just made my cucumber bowl. Thinly sliced cukes, plain yogurt, some garlic, salt, pepper, a little rice vinegar for extra tartness and a spoonful of sugar. More fresh pepper to go on top when I eat them tomorrow at lunch. I like my cucumbers sweet, tangy and salty.

Do you use fresh garlic? I invited a Japanese neighbor (moved to US from Yokohama at age 25) for Easter one year and used fresh garlic in the cucumber/salt/sugar/rice vinegar salad. She was entranced. Maybe that amount of raw garlic is not used in Japan, but everyone was scarfing it up.

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Just made my cucumber bowl. Thinly sliced cukes, plain yogurt, some garlic, salt, pepper, a little rice vinegar for extra tartness and a spoonful of sugar. More fresh pepper to go on top when I eat them tomorrow at lunch. I like my cucumbers sweet, tangy and salty.

Do you use fresh garlic? I invited a Japanese neighbor (moved to US from Yokohama at age 25) for Easter one year and used fresh garlic in the cucumber/salt/sugar/rice vinegar salad. She was entranced. Maybe that amount of raw garlic is not used in Japan, but everyone was scarfing it up.

I did use fresh garlic, a couple of cloves worth.

Cheated and had cucumbers for breakfast and they were great. I have a few more in the fridge and I think I'll do a spicy bowl, maybe something like oi kimchi.

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A few years ago I had a cucumber gazbacho at café boulud ... one of the rare times I couldn't stop myself from pulling out a notebook and trying to reverse engineer the thing at the table. I ran home and cobbled together my own knockoff. Mine wasn't as good as Daniel Boulud's, but it was pretty tasty ... I don't think you could go too wrong with any combination of these ingredients. They included:

cucumbers

red onion

shallot

garlic

yogurt

olive oil

mint

smoked salmon

vinegar or lemon


Notes from the underbelly

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This week is perfect for cucumber salads. Our favorite here is an easy one with cukes, red onion. rice wine vinegar, sugar, salt, chili flakes, and dry roasted peanuts for the top. Simple, cold and tasty.

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Love this one:

THAI CUCUMBER SALAD

http://www.recipezaar.com/93536

I also love Pierre Franey's SALADE DE CONCOMBRES ET CHEVRE (Cucumber and Goat Cheese Salad).


There's nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with CHOCOLATE.

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My new favorite: cucumbers, sliced thin on my new mandoline (!) with rice vinegar, mirin and ginger.


Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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My Kirby cucumber plants are quite happy this year and I have been pleasantly surprised by the yield. This is the slices sweating with some salt, and then marinating with freshly squeezed orange juice, lime juice, Splenda, and a bit of white vinegar. I omitted the onion.....because I had none (!) I like the idea of using different acids, so I may have several smaller bowls going this year as I think the ones with citrus will not have longevity. I like to sweat them first because I think it draws the juices out better than just plunking them in the bowl with the acids. I taste the liquid to check for bitterness. No side by side comparisons have been done.

DSCN1028.JPG

DSCN1030.JPG

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Oh my - I walked into the kitchen and I can smell them! Not the marinade, but the cucumber. This is going to be a good run.

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Bump. You know it's summer when the cucumbers are plentiful. I have two plants this year and picked six cukes this morning, with plenty more to come. So I'm trying to break out of my tsatziki and quick pickle rut. This and a few other topics have some good ideas:

I guess cucumber really is a fruit

Drinks using cucumber

Cucumber sandwiches

Any new favorite cucumber recipes out there?



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A post on Gluten Free Girl and the Chef with an image of cucumbers mixed with yogurt and topped with sesame seeds and toasted walnuts got me lusting after cucumbers and yogurt on a super hot day. I ran out to the little "cucumber patch" and there were two heft ones ready to pick (the long thin Japanese ones). No yogurt in the house so I started my cucumber bowl along the lines of many posts above using a mix of plain white and red wine vinegar. Yogurt is on the shopping list.

While searching for this topic I also came upon this earlier one about cucumbers with roasted peanuts and chili oil which I have never done http://forums.egullet.org/topic/137230-cucumber-roasted-peanut-chilli-oil

Are crisp and juicy cucumbers appearing in your markets and gardens? What are you doing with them?

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Yes I am eating a lot of cukes these days. My three favorite salads currently:

1) Dilled Potato and Pickled Cucumber salad from Smitten Kitchen. Uses a quick pickle cucumber and lots of fresh dill. My change: way less mayo. And sometimes I mix mayo and creme fraiche or mayo and fage instead of using straight mayo. It's a great salad--the pickles are outstanding; best to do the pickles overnight. I find the salad is best eaten soon after dressing, but that's how I am about all potato salads.

2) Thinly slice cukes, radishes, fennel and a little red onion. Toss in a couple T fresh dill, a few sliced kalamata olives. Add a little salt and pepper and dress very modestly however you like. I just use a very small amount of champagne or sherry wine vinegar and a splash of olive oil. I'm sure lemon would be good instead of vinegar. I even like it with just olive oil and salt.

3) Rarerollingobject described a salad she made months ago and I think it is great. Mix cucumber, melon, ham and chopped toasted hazelnuts in proportions you like. Her dressing specified a little honey, mustard, lemon and oil. I find that this salad needs a VERY light hand with dressing, since a ripe melon may start to weep and the salad gets a little watery. I have used cantaloupe and both green and pink honeydew and various types of ham. Flavorful salty ham works better than mild.

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I read through this thread with great delight! I have a mountain of cukes comming out of the garden this time of year and I had no clue what to do with them beyond cuke, tomato, vinegar salad.

I love the idea of cuke sammiches, I wonder if smoked salmon on that would be good.

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"I eat fat back, because bacon is too lean"

-overheard from a 105 year old man

"The only time to eat diet food is while waiting for the steak to cook" - Julia Child

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I'll second Nibor's approach:

1. Get a bowl ready - combine cold apple cider vinegar and white vinegar in about equal parts - enough so the cucumbers and onions float. Season with S&P and a bit of sugar to taste. Whisk.

2. Take a few thin strips of peel off to make the cucumbers look nice. Slice a medium white onion thinly - about 1 onion per 2 cucumbers.

3. Mandolin the cucumber right into the bowl on the medium setting. Add onion and cover. Refrigerate for 4-6 hours, then fish the goodies out of the bowl and eat with smoked chicken.

Thanks,

Zachary

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We don't often think of cucumbers in cooked dishes, but I use them in a Chinese dish with black wood ear fungus and scallops. The cucumbers give a crisp, fresh flavor that balances the richness of the scallops and the wood ear fungus has a crisp texture. The sauce is a basic mixture of oyster sauce, soy sauce and a bit of chicken stock. I haven't used cucumbers in other savory dishes, but I think they would be good in a vegetable stir-fry.

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I read through this thread with great delight! I have a mountain of cukes comming out of the garden this time of year and I had no clue what to do with them beyond cuke, tomato, vinegar salad.

I love the idea of cuke sammiches, I wonder if smoked salmon on that would be good.

YES! Especially with cream cheese, goat cheese, a bit of boursin, you get the idea... Just about any kind of soft, creamy cheesey blend and smoked anything delicate.

"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

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Earlier in this thread I mentioned gurkensalat. And there is always Julia Child's Braised cucumbers...


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

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