bumper crop of cucumbers- any suggestions?
What are your favourite recipes? My cukes are quite large- too large to pickle.
I've also got lots of dill, basil, cilantro, arugula and jalapenos, so any recipes incorporating these ingredients would be great.
Thanks for any of your suggestions!
2 things come to mind. One is a quick pickle that works with larger guys- just halve (seed a bit if really seedy) and slice between 1/8 and 1/4", add sliced onions to taste, salt lightly, sugar generously (or Splenda), pepper, top with vinegar or choice and let sit a few days. I literally eat this breakfast, lunch and dinner during the season. Second is good old fashioned cucumber salad- mandoline or otherwise thin slice, salt, drain liquid, sprinkle with sugar, stir in yogurt or sour cream. Pepper and or paprika is nice. Big spoonfuls on toasted baguette, alongside any meal- good stuff. Will keep at least 4 days.
Thanks for all the great suggestions so far. I'm going to give the raita a try- will probably also make tzatziki at some point in the next couple weeks. The quick pickle sounds delicious, too. Will let you know how that goes;)
Does anyone have any favourite dairy-free or vegan recipes they'd like to share? Most of the cucumber salad and soup recipes I have use a fair amount of yogurt, sour cream or buttermilk. I'm trying to drop a few pounds so I've been trying to limit my dairy lately;)
My favourite old-school cucumber salad is a Hungarian recipe from Molly O'Neill's New York Cookbook- using fresh dill, dijon mustard, wine vinegar, olive oil and paprika. It's always a hit at my dinner parties, and tastes even better the next day!
GHG's Coban Salatasi [Turkish Shepherd's Salad]
4 medium tomatoes
1 medium cucumber [seedless, if available]
1 medium-size mild onion [i prefer red or bermuda]
2 large jarred pepperoncini [banana peppers]*
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon dried oregano
juice of half a lemon [1-2 tablespoons]
fresh cracked black pepper
1 large handful flat leaf parsley
grated mizithra cheese or crumbled feta cheese for serving
Halve the tomatoes, squeeze gently [don't crush them!] to remove the seeds, and discard seeds. Peel cucumber, and slice in half, lengthwise. If cucumber contains seeds, remove them by scraping gently with a spoon, & discard seeds. Dice the tomato, onion & cucumber, and combine in a large bowl. Remove & discard the stems from the pepperoncini, chop the peppers very finely, and add to the other vegetables.
In a separate bowl, whisk together olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, and oregano; season dressing to taste with salt & pepper.
Pour dressing over vegetables, toss well, and allow to sit, refrigerated, for at least 30 minutes [the longer, the better].
When ready to serve, roughly chop the parsley and sprinkle over salad [don't toss - i prefer to allow each diner to mix it into their serving after it's plated].
Serve with cheese on the side [i always stir 1-2 tablespoons into my serving].
*Note: traditionally, this salad contains green bell peppers, but i can't eat them raw. if you don't like the bite from the pepperoncini and you're okay with green peppers, feel free to omit the pepperoncini, and add 1 cored, seeded & diced medium green pepper.
You could play around with the seasonings a little to use up some of your herbs - maybe omit the oregano & toss in some dill, or try using cilantro instead of parsley. Get creative :)
Another one similar to your Hungarian one is thinly sliced cukes, sweet onions,red wine vinegar, dill, and salt. No oil.
Also you can saute thickly sliced and seeded cukes in a little butter ..yummy. Or if you're watching the calories, I would think steaming them would work well also.
I made a couscous salad the other night that we all enjoyed (well, except my husband) - I chopped celery really small, and split grape tomatoes, and diced cucumbers, lots of fresh parsley, 1 raw garlic clove, olive oil, rice wine vinegar, S&P.
It was great the next day (I seeded the cukes I guess is why it wasn't all watery and gross).
I use the tip of a teaspoon, run it down the peeled cut-in-half cuke to seed, then slice, sprinkle with rice wine vinegar and serve.
I recently made a cucumber agua fresca that was wonderful.
2-3 cukes will probably make a 1/2 gallon
juice of 4 limes
simple syrup to taste
1 quart water (or to taste)
Pinch of salt
You'll also need some cheesecloth, a blender or food mill, and a strainer.
Scrub the cukes, leaving the skins on. Cut into 1" chunks. Put the pieces into the blender along with a good 1/2 cup to cup of water and some of the lime juice. (You'll need to do this in batches) Puree until liquefied. Strain through the cheesecloth into a big bowl. When all your blending and straining is finished, sweeten to taste with simple syrup and all a little salt. Add more water if needed. This will keep a couple of days in the fridge.
I've been getting huge armenian cucumbers in my CSA boxes several weeks running, and to me, particularly if you want non-diary and have some cilantro, cucumber means JanetofReno's Kachumber salad, with the addition of some chopped cucumber to her recipe below (cilantro is a garnish):
the other salad I made this week was similar to some of the ones mentioned: chop the cucumber (by the way, one of the great things about armenian cucumbers is that you don't need to peel them; just wash thoroughly); add some chopped red onion, a few chopped leaves of fresh basil, and mix with a dressing of olive oil, a splash of basalmic vinegar, plain yogurt, salt and pepper....(sorry I can't tell you proportions since I made it up as I went along, but very little olive oil and even less vinegar, plus enough yogurt to cover but not enough to make it very heavy)...very tasty and refreshing.
Cucumber in sour cream. I use low fat sour cream. Salt thin sliced cukes and onions and let sit a few hours. Rinse. You should still taste some salt. Squeeze out liquid. Add pepper and sour cream - let sit a few hours before eating.
Also I like to make a filling similar to potstickers - minced shrimp and ground pork, some garlic and ginger. Cut cukes in half lengthwise, remove seeds. fill with meat and steam.
I cook until the filling is done. The cukes don't get soggy. I checked the recipe I used and it says to cook for 20 min. I don't think mine cook all that long. But do use the larger, slightly overgrown cukes. I dust the cukes with a little cornstarch to help the filling stick, not really necessary. I've also done it where I cut the whole cuke in 2-3 inch pieces and cored them out so I had a cylinder. Then I stuffed and steamed.
I have a lovely recipe for a cucumber and green apple salad with cilantro and a honey vinaigrette. Peel the cukes and peel and core the green apples, and slice so that they both quite thin. Chop some cilantro to taste (some people don't like cilantro, and you can substitute dill or mint.) Make a vinaigrette with one part honey to two parts white vinegar, with a little salt. Once you've mixed the dressing, pour it over the salad, toss and serve.
Like the sound of this recipe, and I have green apples on hand! Tomorrow night I'll give it a try!
Tonight I made a variation of this avocado and cucumber soup: http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews..., adding jalapeno, increasing the basil and cucumber, and decreasing the oil, sour cream and Worcestershire. Also made a cucumber,dill, vinegar (white balsamic), sugar, salt, sweet paprika and onion salad with no oil, as suggested by some of the above posters.
5 cucumbers used, and about a dozen to go, before I pick the next round!
I made some quick Chinese Spicy Cucumber pickles last night. So good with a few pork dumplings! Recipe is from Yan's China, page 62 I think.....
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup rice vinegar
2 tbs soy sauce
2 tbs sugar
1-2 fresh red chilis
Deseed [if not English] and slice very thin. I used a mandolin for this part. In a bowl, sprinkle the salt over the cucumbers, and mix. Allow to sit for 30 minutes.
Mix remaining ingredients. I didn't have any fresh chili peppers, so I toasted 1 tsp of Szechuan peppers.
Drain and dry the cucumbers. Mix all together. Chill for an hour. Serve.
This was so simple and delicious, I am going to start trying other veggies with this pickling method.
The Chinese Spicy Cuke idea turned out really well..thanks for the inspiration.
I didn't use any salt since the soy is already salty, and I was out of rice vinegar so I used white balsamic.
My white balsamic, soy and jalapeno cucumber salad turned out delicious!. 2 tbsp sugar, 2 tbsp soy, 1/3 cup white balsamic, 1 minced jalapeno and 2 sliced cucumbers.
When I have an excess of cukes, I like to make a chilled cucumber and dill soup or saute them. To saute them I quarter them legthwise, remove the seeds and then cut into 1/2-1' pieces, toss them in flour, and then saute in olive oil until crisp-tender. Then, I just squeeze them with a bit of lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.
3 cups diced cucumber
3/4 cup diced white onion
1-2 jalapenos diced
juice of 1-2 limes
1 large heirloom tomato, chopped
salt and pepper
mix together, serve with corn chips - so yummy!
The quantities can be altered to your liking. This has been very popular when I bring it to parties.