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TOO MUCH CUCUMBER

With a new sunny garden this year, I decided to try to grow cucumber. OH MY GOD! Every time I go out there, I'm surprised by a huge behemoth of a cucumber that wasn't there two days ago. I'm beginning to run out of cucumber ideas! What do you do with huge cukes? Does the flavor change as they get so large?

Also, what are your favorite cucumber recipes? I usually make Asian cucumber salad (rice vinegar, sugar, red pepper) and variations on Greek salad. These are lovely, but getting repetitive.

Thank you!

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  1. Sliced cucumber in a pitcher of cold water makes for refreshing drinks all day to stay hydrated in this hot weather; also saw this recently at a restaurant. Sliced cucumber makes great dipper for hummus. Since they don't keep very long, consider taking a bag to a local shelter or soup kitchen...they will be very grateful in these hard times.

    1. pimm's cup uses cuke spears.

      remember, you can cook cukes, too. the chinese use cucumber in stir-fry dishes.

      i like it in a greek or lebanese salad.

      make cucumber canapes, or cucumber "boats" stuffed with meat/veg and baked.

      5 Replies
      1. re: alkapal

        not sure if you're a sushi fan but you can use that instead of sticky rice.

        take a look here.

        http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisaspo/...

        1. re: davmar77

          that's beautiful! and low-carb, to boot.

          1. re: alkapal

            yes, and my wife took full advantage of that when she was avoiding rice/carbs. and you can put about anything in there. just slice the cukes thin enough.

            1. re: davmar77

              Great idea. I bet you could take those thin slices and roll up with proscuitto instead of using melon. As long as OP has such a surplus.

          2. an example of the cuke canapes: http://www.food.com/recipe/Stuffed-Cu...

            stir-fry: http://chinesefood.about.com/od/pork/...

            ~~
            cukes are good if cut, salted, squeezed, then folded with minced garlic and mint into lebneh (strained yogurt). that sauce is superb on a spicy ground lamb & beef patty (shammi kabob) http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/al...

            ~
            cuke boat: http://www.saladmaster.com/index/Reci...

            i like the chinese cuke salad made simply with toasted sesame oil and rice vinegar.

            1. here from the cucumber growers' association: http://www.cucumbergrowers.co.uk/info...

              Cucumber Party Flan

              Cucumber and Tuna pate

              Cucumber sauce

              Chilled cucumber and yoghurt soup

              Cucumber and egg starter

              Thai prawn and cucumber stir fry

              Stuffed cucumber salad

              Cucumber jelly

              Cucumber crisp

              1. You've probably figured this out already, but when cukes get oversized, they tend to be woody and bitter. So be sure to taste them first, and try to police the plants and catch 'em before they get huge.

                Even then, though, you're likely to have more than you care to eat at once. There's a reason that the word "pickles," without more, tends to refer to pickled cucumbers. They're all too prolific when in season, and they put up well.

                Of course, suitability for pickling depends somewhat on the variety of your plant(s), but there's something to be said for homemade bread and butter pickles...

                5 Replies
                1. re: alanbarnes

                  Ironically, the Kirby (pickling) cukes are not nearly as prolific as the basic slicing cukes! I'm enjoying testing different pickling formulas tho. And I must remember next year to plant dill next to the cukes...

                  1. re: ksherk

                    Have you tried pickling the persian cukes?

                    1. re: paprkutr

                      Persian cukes make great fridge pickles! Now that we have them so prevalent and inexpensive, they're virtually the only variety we use for pretty much everything.

                  2. re: alanbarnes

                    thanks for your info alanb, I have Japanese cukes up the kazoo right now. I planted them too close, and they're a jungle. But I still have tons of cukes, they tend to curl, which is ok, I just cut them into sections before slicing.

                    My question is that by the time I find some of them, they are rather large. I don't want to waste them so yesterday I cut into one and ate a slice. The thing wasn't pithy, or even soft. the seeds larger yes, but the cuke had a definite soury-lemon taste (normally sweet) which really waa kind of nice. Are these okay to eat? I might as well make quick pickles out of them if nothing else?

                    1. re: chef chicklet

                      Yes, they're fine when large, as long as you like the flavor. Some people even like them better at that stage. I generally like to seed them if the seeds have gotten large enough to be noticeable, but even that is optional. Quick pickles is a great use for them.