Things to do with cucumbers?
I Love Cucumbers! Apparently a little too much as I currently have 15 cucumber plants growing in various gardens around my house. You never know how many seeds will take. Last year, with only two plants I was giving cucumbers away we had so many! They thrive here.
Granted, I could take some plants out but I have a funny thing about killing plants on purpose so I'm kind of stuck with them.
So I need some creative recipes that will use up my hordes of cucumbers. I often make cuke soup, dill salads, topping salmon...the usual things. What else can I do with massive numbers of cucumbers over the summer?
I think I've heard of folks enjoying nut butters on 'em!
Cucumbers taste like watermelon to me, so maybe you could borrow some watermelon ideas. Invent a cocktail!
Last idea: make your neighbours happy, or replenish nearby food-banks.
There are lots of asian cucumber salad recipes: rice vinegar, sugar, toasted sesame seeds, salt, garlic.
cut in half, then quarter the halves (so that the pieces are the size of old school fishtsicks, sprinkle with a light vinegar (champagne or white wine) and a little sel gris or fleur de sel--simple, refreshing, and addicitive. My mother used to set these out for us; they'de last seconds.
You could make raita - yogurt/cucumbers/mint or dill.
What about some kind of cucumber based "salsa"?
And the cocktail idea is a great one - at the Bread Bar in NYC I had a great cocktail that had cucumbers in it - and cilantro as well. Incredibly refreshing - now I'm craving one!
I looked it up:
http://www.tablany.com/Wine%20and%20C... - Kuchumber Kooler - has green chilies, cucumber, cilantro, and gin.
The Camelback Inn in Scottsdale, AZ serves cucumber mojitos at their spa bar and they are amazing!!!! I usually drink too many to remember the details but they cube the cucumber instead of slicing it, and they might even marinate the cukes in a simple syrup?? because they taste sweet, or maybe they just let them soak in the drink before serving.
You lucky duck, ours won't be ready for ages yet.
Sometimes we slice them up and pop them into a jar of pickle juice in the fridge. Almost instant pickles!
We also like to eat them with nothing more than lots of fresh lime juice and salt, chilled. Addicting.
Ya gotta make pickles! Lime pickles, bread and butter, dill...homemade pickles are suprisingly easy and they'd make great gifts year round! Or, I like mine sliced with some accompanying Vidalia onion, liberally sprinkled with salt and pepper and marinated for a while in my favorite vinegar. Deelish!
Yeah, pickles are the one thing that will use a LOT of your cukes, assuming you've planted a pickling variety. I've never pickled persian or other long varieties, wonder if their skins are too tough? I had the same problem a few summers ago, when my mother went kookoo for cukes, and planted six hills of three plants each, ay! We had pickles all winter and into the next spring, and that was giving with them away too.
I went to a party recently and the hostess served a big pitcher of cold water with cucumber slices. It had the faintest cucumber taste and was really refreshing. I don't know how long the cucumbers had been in the water, but it made me want to drink more at home -- and perhaps garnish my iced tea with a little cucumber, too.
Also, last night I made a version of Nigel Slater's Radish, Mint, and Feta salad, which has cucumber in it. It was quite good.
Yes ... to make a meal with it, all you need is flatbread, grilled chicken, golden sultanas ...
I also love a salad that was a Real Simple recipe--peel & halve the cucumber, scoop out the seeds with a melon baller. Slice, halve grape tomatoes, sprinkle with a little superfine sugar & let sit for 15 minutes or so to create its own dressing. Wonderful.
Here's a recipe based on a soup in Julia Child's second book, MASTERING THE ART OF FRENCH COOKING, VOLUME TWO. She thickened the soup with 4 tablespoons of quick-cooking cream of wheat. I added leeks and potatoes instead and pureed the soup with an immersion blender (which of course didn't exist when Julia wrote that book).
“The only thing to say about this soup is that it is perfectly delicious; it is especially good cold, but then it is also especially good hot.” From Mastering II, p. 17.
1 1/2 lbs. cucumbers (3, about 8” long)
2 leeks, white and pale green parts only, washed, dried, and finely chopped
3 tablespoons butter
2 medium Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
6 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 teaspoons wine vinegar
3/4 teaspoon dried tarragon
salt and white pepper
1 cup sour cream or crème fraîche
1-2 tablespoons minced fresh dill, tarragon, or parsley
Peel, halve, and seed the cucumbers with a teaspoon. Cut 18 very thin slices with a vegetable peeler or small sharp knife and reserve them in a bowl for garnishing. Cut the rest of the cucumbers into half-inch chunks.
Cook the leeks slowly in the butter for several minutes until tender but not browned. Add the cucumber chunks, potatoes, chicken broth, vinegar, and herbs. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, partly covered, for 20-25 minutes. Purée with an immersion blender. Thin out with more broth if necessary; season carefully with salt and pepper.
Just before serving, beat in 1/2 cup sour cream. Ladle into soup bowls, place a dollop of sour cream in each bowl, float slices of cucumber on top of the cream, and sprinkle with the herbs.
Yield: 4-6 servings
re: Tom Steele
I've made a version of that - from The Way to Cook - I was amazed at how tasty warm cucumber soup could be. Oh - that reminds me - I've used a recipe from Jacques Pepin for cooked cucumbers - you first do a bit of complicated cutting up the cuke and forming the one inch pieces into little football shaped pieces, that you blanch, then sautee in butter, with just a little bit of salt and pepper. Lovely - usually serve with salmon.
And, shredded cucumbers are great with spicy peanut sauce - as in cold sesame noodles, without the noodles.
Dice: cucumber, onion
Add: cilantro (corriander to some), hot peppers and salt
Throw in: fish or shrimp (raw)
Squeeze: lots of lime juice
Let it sit for a couple of hours until the fish meat turns white (cooked by the acid).
Eat with chips or on fried tortillas like a tostada.
When I make cold soba, I mix in a pile of grated cucumbers and eat the soba with soba dipping sauce, chopped scallions, and shredded dried seaweed. It's a super-refreshing light meal.
I also make a really simple cucumber and tomato salad: chop up the cucumbers and tomatoes, and add lemon juice, sugar, and chopped dill.
Cucumbers in sandwiches can really brighten things up, too.
You already have many good ideas here! Here are a few more:
Greek salad is one of my favorite ways to eat cucumbers -- cube tomatoes, cucumbers, green bell pepper, red onion, feta cheese and dress with red wine vinegar, olive oil, a few leaves of fresh oregano and top with some kalamata olives.
Another salad that is excellent is one of cucumber, hearts of palm, tomato, avocado, and green onion -- dress with seasoned rice wine vinegar, vegetable oil, salt, pepper and a little dill.
Julia Child has a recipe in Mastering the Art of French Cooking Volume 1 for braised cucumbers -- I haven't made this recipe, but here's a write up from the Julie/Julia project:
Oh, yeah. There's this Louisville, KY-centric spread called Benedictine:
1 medium cucumber, seeds removed
1/2 white onion
juice from 1/2 lemon
8-oz cream cheese (I use Neufchatel)
1/2 t salt
1 drop green food color
Peel and seed cucumber. Grate cucumber into a colander, sprinkle with salt and set aside to drain 10-15 minutes.
Grate onion and combine in mixing bowl with cream cheese and lemon juice. Squeeze liquid from cucumber and add cucumber to bowl. Mix well, taste and add additional salt if needed. Add food color, if desired.
Great on bacon or smoked turkey sandwiches, or by itself on pita or warm baguette.
Isn't it funny how this happens? I grew up in Lexington, was there until 22 years of age, and I remember benedictine spread. I didn't much like it, probably because the versions I encountered had far more than a drop of green food coloring! The lurid color grossed me out, and I can't remember it tasting like much more than cream cheese. I remember it as being relatively smooth, so maybe people pureed the versions I had? I must admit I didn't give it a shot, probably only ate it a few times in those 22 years.
As cucumbers are related to melons. they work really well together in summer salads...
I like to cut cukes and cantelope in equal size dice (1/2 'x1/2') and toss with a little diced red bell pep, chiffonade of basil, evoo and a splash of either lemon juice or a light vinegar, s&p and off you go......great crunchy combo of sweet and savory...
Chilled Cucumber Avocado Soup---serves 2-3
3 peeled & seeded cucumbers
1-2 seeded avocados
1/4 cup sour cream
chicken stock or vegetable stock to desired consistency
fresh cracked pepper
beurre all ingrendients, straing through a chinois for a velvety soup, chill before service
Cucumber Infused Vodka
Slice as many cucmbers as you like or that will fit in a drink jug and cover with a top quality neutral vodka. Let steep at least 7 days in a cool dark place before drinking.
Stuffed cucumbers. You make them large (halved lengthwise, seeds scooped out) or bite-size (cut into 2-inch thick rounds, scoop out a hollow with a melon baller). They're good filled with anything, from salads to salsa or hummus.
You could try this, too: http://frenchfood.about.com/od/vegeta...
After scooping out the 2" rounds, you can use them as sake cups, cups for granita (as an intermezzo or palate cleanser).
Or fill with salmon tartar, ceviche, tiny shrimp salad, etc.
Or slice into long thin slices and wrap around a handful of Cesared romaine leaves for a cool presentation.
you can sautee julienne or tournedos of cucumber with carrots and serve in tarragon cream as a sauce for fish.
I like to make a light and refreshing smoothie with ice, yogurt, honeydew, cucumber and white grapes.
I also make a great sauce for lamb, based on tsatziki, with yogurt, dill, garlic and cucumber.
salsa for chips, grilled chicken, fish, pork or steak, for tacos or burritos!
fine dice seeded cucumber, tomato, red bell pepper, granny smith apple, mango, habanero, vidalias and shoot with some lime, cilantro, salt and pepper....my oh my oh my!
I went to a party last weekend and the hostess served cucumber lemonade. It was wonderful. I don't have the recipe but a google search turns up a bunch.
I always serve sliced cucumbers, as well as crackers, along side a dip at parties. Cuc slices go especially well with smoked salmon dip.
cucumber, greek yogurt, salt and pepper , the bets ever dip !
have fun with your cucumbers !
My mother has made cucumber salad every summer since I was a kid. Peel and slice very thinly cucumbers. Toss with very thinly halved and sliced red onion. Add Hellmans, cider vinegar, salt and pepper to make a thin dressing. Toss and allow to sit at least an hour before serving. We fight over this stuff!
If you have children, or just want to have a fun "theme" get together with friends, have a tea party and make dainty cucumber sandwiches (cream cheese spread over white bread with thinly sliced cucumbers on top sprinkled with dill). I have experimented with different presentation, like wrapping the bread with a long thin slice of cucumber then tying it with a chive (soaked in water to make it flexible).
I second the water served with cucumber. I also throw in some lemons, oranges and mint to give it a citrusy, herbal touch.
Cucumbers are really, really good cooked. I peel, seed, quarter, and cut in 1/4 inch pieces, toss those in flour, and saute in olive oil until crisp-tender. A few minutes before they are done, I stir in some minced lemon zest. When done cooking, I add salt and pepper and lemon juice to taste.
Also, muddled cucumber is awesome in mojitos.
I know you already said dill salads, but I really love this recipe for Cucumber, Mustard,and Dill Salad:
and I'll second the idea to just stick them (cut up) into old jars of pickle juice. As a child, these were my favorite (gentle) dill pickles after just a couple days in the fridge.
You could make a "raita" with plain Greek yogurt, fine diced cucumber (mandoline helps!), lemon juice, mint, and S&P to taste, chill before eating tastes best.
You could infuse water with "cukes" to make a refreshing beverage.
You could make a Thai shrimp-mango salad loaded with julienne cucumber.
You could make a chilled gazpatcho based on cucumber.
Lots of cukes? You could try sun dills when your weather is hot and sunny. You need a stone crock or other non-reactive container: its size will detrmine the number of cukes you use. Add water to just over two-thirds full and then add enough non-iodized salt to float an egg. Add a slice of bread.
Wash each cuke and trim the tips off. Slice horizontally along two thirds of the length and then slice from the other end at right angles to the first cut, again about two thirds of the length. Add the cukes to the crock along with a full stem of fresh dill. Weight down with a plate and then seal with a plastic garbage bag filled with water.
Let stand in the sun for three days. Check daily as a scum will form on the top as the pickles ferment. This should be removed daily. At the end of three days the pickles are ready to eat. They're best stored in your frikdge in a large container in some of their brine along with the stalk of dill.
My friend got me into this. i'm just trying it now and its great! Cut cucumbers in half then cut those in half lenghtways too. Then put a little chilli powder and a pinch of salt and there you have it! a simple but delicious snack made in seconds! i'm only 11 but i love cooking! i can even make my own lasagna!
I like to hollow them out and stuff them too- though it's usually cold fillings and served chilled. I like to make tuna salad with fresh oregano, mayo, a little crumbled feta and chopped kalamata olives and use that filling to stuff the hollowed-out halves.
Another nice filling is smoked salmon dip,as mentioned before. My version has neufchatel, tiny bit on onion juice, lemon juice, chopped dill, dained rinsed capers and good chopped nova salmon, mixed together and allowed to mellow for an hour or two. It goes great with cucumber :).
When all else fails - or I'm feeling lazy... I toast some good bread, spread with a nice spicy mustard and top with thinly sliced cuke. Top with munster or your favorite swiss cheese and broil until toasty. It's a nice snack in a pinch when there's not very much in the fridge.
Also, gazpacho - green or red. For the red, I cheat sometimes, and blend tatziki with a little organic tomato juice and some roasted red peppers, a little garlic, a slice or two of onion and a little more seasoning than you would you would normally use - chilling the soup seems to dull some of the flavors. And for the green, I add plenty of green herbs and green grapes and a little apple juice. I live on these soups when it gets really hot here. Let us know how it goes please.
Here's a few more ideas which has some hot cucumber recipe ideas
Most of the recipes on this site were appalling (cucumber bisque), but here were a few interesting ideas:
- Cucumber, Fennel, Orange Salad with Pomegranate
- Horseradish Cream Cheese-Stuffed Cucumbers
- CUCUMBER, POTATO AND DILL SALAD
- Tossed cucumber salad (Chinese)
Lots of cucumber sandwich recipes that are mostly repetative. However a few interesting ones added
- orange zest & fresh mint
- horseradish (garnished with herbs of flowers)
- use flavored cream cheese like strawberry
Of course, fooddownunder.com has over 1000 recipes
- Candied pickled cucumbers? (involves red hots and a bottle of red food coloring
)- Cold and Hot Cucumber Canapes (involes smoked oysters & New Mexican chili)
- Crab Stuffed Cucumbers (involves pickled ginger, cilantro and jalepenos)
- Cucumber and Bread Salad (involves bolillos, cilantro, panela cheese)
- Cucumbers and Radish Salad with Lime Yogurt (uses plain yogurt with lime juice)
- Fennel, Cucumber, Tomato, Almond and Orange Salad
- Freezer Cucumber Pickles
- Open-Faced Bacon and Cucumber-Salad Sandwiches
- Orange Cucumber Salad (involves yogurt, honey and mint)
OK, I found this really interesting ... fun with food ...
A simple favorite we enjoy - slice them thin, add sweet onions tinly sliced (red or otherwise) and make a vinagrette of vegetable oil (I use unrefined corn oil, apple cider vinegar, dijon mustard, salt, pepper and sugar and dill (I use 2 pkts of Splenda) Let them marinade 2 hrs serve chiiled and voila!
Cukes cut lengthwise, seeded are a nice substitute for bread while preparing chicken or tuna salad, lobster salad, etc.
Cucumber Lime Frosty
4-5 cups of peeled and seeded cucumbers Pureed
1 Package of Lemon/Lime Kool Aid
2 cups of sugar
1/4 cup of Real Lemon Juice
Puree together and eat before completely Frozen!
My boss recently brought us some dehydrated cucumber slices with some sea salt and a little pepper. I love chips and I hate chips, therefore I don't eat them oten, but crave them every now and then. These were a GREAT alternative to chips. I loved them and they are so "snacky", but healthy (minus the salt)!
Get a cucumber and peel it
Next you want to slice it
Cut a lime
Add some salt mix it
Taste great and one of my best recipes for cucumbers.
Simple and easy!
there's a Thai restaurant (Saffron) in San Diego&they do a cucumber sweet&sour cold salad that is TO DIE FOR.