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