Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Sign in to follow this  
Gifted Gourmet

Summertime, and the living is easy

Recommended Posts

Cool and crisp, juicy and refreshing on a hot summer day, cucumbers have adorned our dinner tables forever. They were first cultivated in Asia and brought to America by Columbus. Native Americans and colonists cultivated them, and they remain one of the most versatile vegetables.

What are your favorite ways of using this vegetable in the heat of summer? Chilled soups, salads, ladylike tea sandwiches, canape base? Hope to hear your version of your favorite recipes ....

Your favorite types? Kirby, English, Japanese, common ... and what about "burplesss"?? :rolleyes: another question: why are they 'waxed' so highly??

In looking back at the title of this post, I apologize for any possible double entendres ... :wink:completely unintentional ....


Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My lone cuke plank is going crazy!! I usually just make a quick pickle with vinegar, sugar, water, celery seed, s&p. and float the slices with onion - reminds me of my grandma. I also like to throw one in the mini-chopper with green onion, mayo and seasoning to make a salad dressing. Not very up-town, but very good.


Stop Family Violence

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like a good cucumber sliced by itself, but one of my favorite things to do with it (though I haven't made it myself in some time) is uborkasalata (Hungarian cucumber salad). I prefer not to include any sour cream. The recipe I've used is from Gundel's cookbook, but I don't have it handy (it's up at my parents' place). This looks like a decent recipe, though I'd let the cucumbers stand longer than 5 minutes and I'd definitely include the onions:

Hungarian Cucumber Salad

Experiment with sugar amounts. You may find that just a pinch is enough to give the dish a perfect sweet/sour/salty/paprika taste. I'd say the black (or, if you prefer, white) pepper is optional, but the paprika is de rigueur for this Hungarian salad.


Edited by Pan (log)

Michael aka "Pan

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I too make a vinegar-based salad with them, but add minced fresh dill and mint, plus a sprinkle of hot chile flakes.

I also love tsatiki (sp?) -- I could eat it by the bowlful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

and how about burpless cucumbers? anybody bought them for their ability to be easily digested? non acidic? :rolleyes:


Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't tried the burpless. I always thought they were a variation on the English variety? I make lots of tea sandwiches, but I also just like cucumbers peeled and cut into sticks. Though they rarely make it to the table.


Victoria Raschke, aka ms. victoria

Eat Your Heart Out: food memories, recipes, rants and reviews

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mmmmm, Cucumbers!

Cut into sticks with dill dip

Gazpacho

Small pumpernickel slices smeared with dilled cream cheese, cracked black pepper and sliced cukes

Thinly sliced, tossed with rice wine vinegar, pinch of sugar and some pepper flakes

Thinly sliced, tossed with mayo and/or sour cream, salt and pepper, dill

Cut into chunks with dead-ripe tomatoes, tossed with torn up day old pita, then tossed with a mix of EVOO and lemon juice, sumac to taste. Served on a bed of lettuce.

LaurieB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My lone cuke plank is going crazy!! I usually just make a quick pickle with vinegar, sugar, water, celery seed, s&p. and float the slices with onion - reminds me of my grandma. 

Ditto.

Sometimes I use good balsamic instead of regular vinegar. I have some in the icebox now that I mixed with very thinly sliced Vidalia onions. I love cucumbers.


Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Growing up, my mom used to pickle them in soy sauce (kikkoman only) & vinegar & a little hot pepper. I make a variation with soy sauce, basalmic vinegar, sugar, shallots, hot pepper, cracked black and pink pepper and a few coriander seeds.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My favorite cucumbers are the middle-eastern style cukes grown by Wheatland Vegetable Farms. They're small, fairly thin-skinned, absolutely delicious with no bitterness and lots of cuke flavor. Mmmmmm!

One cool thing to do with your cukes is to cut them into large (1"+) chunks and tunnel out the seeds and pulp with a grapefruit spoon. Stuff the center with whatever sounds good...cream cheese and gravlax, lamb kibbeh, a hummus-like chopped garbanzo mixture. Doesn't suck.

I adore Thai-style cucumber salad with rice wine vinegar, a dash of sugar, salt, cilantro, mint. Very refreshing in the summertime. I also love the American vinegar and onion salad. And they're perfect shredded, salted, drained, stirred into strained yogurt, and enhanced with either an Indian tempering oil or some crushed garlic for raita or tzatziki.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love cucumbers - one of my favorite snack foods of all time. Especially nice are the persian and japanese cucumbers - narrow, thin skinned, with tiny seeds and wonderfully crisp. English hothouse cucumbers are also good, though not quite as crunchy. Most often I simply cut into thick slices, toss on a little salt, rice vinegar, few drops of soy sauce, maybe some toasted sesame seeds and ginger if I'm in the mood.


Kathy

Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all. - Harriet Van Horne

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
One cool thing to do with your cukes is to cut them into large (1"+) chunks and tunnel out the seeds and pulp with a grapefruit spoon. Stuff the center with whatever sounds good...cream cheese and gravlax

Now this I have actually done with no small amount of pleasure ... people here know about my gravlax obsession from TDG back in December of 2003 .... and I use the grapefruit spoon much as you have described ... this is rather like stuffed celery boats, no?? :rolleyes: also stuff with something not too dissimilar: a caviar and chive stiffly whipped cream mixture. :biggrin:


Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Raita is always nice.


Bill Russell

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With thanks to Samuel Johnson on food and drink:

A cucumber should be well sliced, and dressed with pepper and vinegar, and then thrown out as, good for nothing.


Martial.2,500 Years ago:

If pale beans bubble for you in a red earthenware pot, you can often decline the dinners of sumptuous hosts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
With thanks to Samuel Johnson on food and drink:

A cucumber should be well sliced, and dressed with pepper and vinegar, and then thrown out as, good for nothing.

Blasphemy and heresy!! :shock:

Cucumbers, for all their bad press, are quite versatile and inspirational, when properly prepared .... :biggrin: cooling in the extreme ...


Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My mother started growing the "burpless" cucumber back when the seeds first became available. I think Burpee was the first to introduce them to the general seed market. We never looked back. She grew other varieties for my dad to pickle and such but these became the eatin' kind.

All of the above suggestions sound really wonderful. I have been in a cucumber rut for many years... chunks or slices with Mexican crema (a little milder than commercial sour cream) and dill served very cold. Sometimes I get really adventurous and substitute basil, mint, Mexican mint marigold (like tarragon) or whatever else is growing. I will venture into the sweet onion and mild vinegar combo occasionally. But, for some stupid reason, I will start out to make something really new and go right back to the crema/dill routine. I have to get out more.


Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sliced thin and tossed with soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and sliced pickled ginger.

This year in my classroom I had kids who would choose cucumbers over cake :biggrin:


True Heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic.

It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost,

but the urge to serve others at whatever cost. -Arthur Ashe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Try them marinated in a little vinegar and sugar, then thoroughly chilled. Quite Scandinavian, but works well with a good roast.

Any body ever grow one inside a bottle? If I remember right, I got a Cub Scout merit badge for that somehow. Still a really neat trick to show the kids.


Screw it. It's a Butterball.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My brother will make a greens-less Greek salad with just cucumbers, tomatoes, sweet onion, kalamata olives & crumbled feta cheese with a lemon & olive oil dressing. It's a good break from salads with leaf lettuce.


 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Any body ever grow one inside a bottle? If I remember right, I got a Cub Scout merit badge for that somehow. Still a really neat trick to show the kids.

Heh heh

My dad did that one year. He saved up the tall, cylindrical olive jars for months. Then we did a lot of work figuring out how to support the bottle while the cucumber was growing. He put them, bottle and all, into the pickle crock and proceeded to make "jars of pickle" that seemed impossible. They were a source of great wonder to all. :laugh:


Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I have an over abundance of cucumbers from my garden, I cut a few into eighth thickness rounds and place over my eyes while soaking in my spa. It is said, they will get rid of puffiness around the eyes and also have a soothing effect.

I don't know if they do any of that, but its a good way of using up cucumbers. Its also a good conversation starter, stopper? when neighbors come by and see you soaking in the hot tub with cucumbers where your eyes should be.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
when neighbors come by and see you soaking in the hot tub with cucumbers where your eyes should be.

Little Orphan Annie?? :laugh:


Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I like a good cucumber sliced by itself, but one of my favorite things to do with it (though I haven't made it myself in some time) is uborkasalata (Hungarian cucumber salad). I prefer not to include any sour cream. The recipe I've used is from Gundel's cookbook, but I don't have it handy (it's up at my parents' place). This looks like a decent recipe, though I'd let the cucumbers stand longer than 5 minutes and I'd definitely include the onions:

Hungarian Cucumber Salad

Experiment with sugar amounts. You may find that just a pinch is enough to give the dish a perfect sweet/sour/salty/paprika taste. I'd say the black (or, if you prefer, white) pepper is optional, but the paprika is de rigueur for this Hungarian salad.

I also like this salad with the sour cream... (depends what we're having with it).

Also make what is called a "gemischtes salat" in Austria--sliced, cold, boiled potatoes and non-cooked sliced cucumbers dressed with parsley, vinegar, oil (pumpkinseed oil), onions, salt and tiny bit of sugar.

simple mexican-inspired salads with slices of jicama and cucumber sprinkled w/cayenne pepper and lime juice.

and chilled cucumber buttermilk soup

also like to add to sandwiches---especially tuna or liverwurst sandwiches. For the latter, use lightly buttered and toasted rye bread and salt the very thinly sliced cukes a little; it is an unexpected but incredibly good combo.


"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

*adding to shopping list*

liverwurst - check

rye bread - check

Why does that sound so insanely delicious to me?


Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...