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Aug 30, 2009 05:35 PM

An Abundance of Cucumbers -- Help

The garden is providing us with way more cucumbers than we anticipated. Lots of salads of course, but besides that what all can you do with lots of nice, fresh crisp cukes? And frankly even the salads are growing a bit too familiar.

Any suggestions appreciated.

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    1. After seeing Julie & Julia, I read the blog. As I recall, although skeptical at first, Julie gave high marks to Julia Child's recipe for baked cucumbers. I don't recall any details (which are, of course, in Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol I) but it seemed as though most of the vegetable dishes involved cream and baking with a topping of cheese and buttered bread crumbs.

      6 Replies
        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

          Thanks, ghg. I had been thinking of trying to track down the recipe (without buying MtaoFC) but as usual, your superior food sleuthing saves the day!

          1. re: greygarious

            I made a half-recipe tonight, using a 7x11 Pyrex dish and green garlic (of which I have a large bunch from the Hmong farmers at the Farmers Market) rather than scallions, and marinating for 2 hours. I halved everything but the sugar, which was a tiny amount to begin with. Used white wine vinegar and dried basil. Definitely a keeper, although I would have liked a tiny bit more sugar. Next time I will try Trader Joe's balsamic, and add a julienned carrot to the cukes, for sweetness, color, and textural contrast. Unlike Julie Powell, I did not think the cukes tasted like grilled onions - more like bok choy, but tasty nonetheless. It was easy to eat a whole large cucumber as a single serving; can't imagine doing that with cukes in another form.

          2. re: goodhealthgourmet

            I'm going to try that one. Tonight. Thanks.

            1. re: chicgail

              I too had a bumper crop this year and was sick of the usual. My friend printed this recipe out for me - it was EXCELLENT (I substituted chicken broth for beef boullion, and added some chopped cabbage & garlic to the ground turkey to liven it up). WHat an ethereal texture the cucumbers had! Try it - you'll be surprised!

          3. re: greygarious

            This is actually a very nice change of pace for cucumbers - my family really likes them cooked this way. I let the cukes marinate for several hours.

          4. One of my favorite summer treats is chilled buttermilk cucumber soup. Take out the seeds from some cucumbers and grate them up--finely or coarsely, as you prefer--and let drain in a colander for a bit, pressing out some of the water. (I save the water for other uses). Stir in a good dollop of sour cream, chopped dill, salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon to taste, and slowly whisk in buttermilk until you have a not-too-thin soup consistency. You have to let it chill in the fridge, ideally overnight, for the flavors to develop, and re-season or re-adjust cream-to-buttermilk ratio before serving. I often top it with sliced radishes or radish sprouts for a counterpart, but if your radishes are already a bit on the bitter side, that might not be the right combination...

            1. Cucumber juice is actually one of the most delicious, refreshing things on Earth, I think. If you don't have a juicer, just peel the cucumbers, puree in a food processor with enough water added to it to get it to blend, drain in a fine mesh colander. You can spike it with something like Pimm's for a cocktail or just drink it chilled, straight. Uses a lot of cucumbers.

              When I make juice, I use the leftover cucumber fiber in my chopped gazpachos, too, so nothing goes to waste. I bet the fiber could also be mixed with flour, eggs and a leavening agent to make a nice savory pancake.

              3 Replies
              1. re: cimui

                This morning I made some cucumber juice (great with gin!) then used the fibers to make pancakes, adding flour, egg, panko, salt and pepper. Served it with poached eggs and hollandaise sauce. Delicious!

                PS cimui, how are the basil seed plants?

                1. re: pinkprimp

                  *high five!*

                  I'm coming to your house for breakfast. That sounds pretty brilliant. What happens to panko when you mix it into pancake batter?

                  My basil plants have been in basil seed heaven for a while. I had a friend house and dog sit while I was away on a long trip; sadly he forgot to water them. RIP. But thanks for asking! :)

                  1. re: cimui

                    You are welcome over for breakfast anytime you are in Toronto! :-)

                    IRT panko, I used it as a way to thicken the egg mixture to make it more batter like (as opposed to using flour). My panko crumbs taste mildly sweet, almost like honey, and I liked the flavour it added to the cucumber cakes. I only used a teensy bit of flour- I'm not even sure I needed it.

                    Too bad about the basil! It can join my orchids (damn those north facing windows in my apartment!) in plant heaven.

              2. Check out this page for loads of cucumber ideas (from cucumber cocktails to cucumber jelly):