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Jul 8, 2011 01:55 PM

What can I make with my first English cucumber?!

I'm so excited: my first vegetable garden has not been going all that well (think it's my soil mix), but I was surprised this morning to find a 10-inch English cucumber all ready to pick! So funny because I didn't think those plants were doing anything at all and there's this beautiful cucumber hidden by the leaves.

I won't have a chance to go out to buy anything but I've got one smallish tomato that might be a little overripe. Also have lots of onions. And lots of herbs growing outside (those have done well).

Tell me what I can do with this guy.

FWIW: my husband doesn't really like cucumbers, but I told him these babies were supposed to be burpless and seedless and have thin skins that don't need peeling, so he's willing to give them a try.

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  1. Congrats on your first cucumber! Why not chop it up with the tomato and onion (keep the onion quite small and in lesser quantity). Dress with lemon juice and chopped fresh coriander and fresh mint. A little roasted cumin, black pepper, chilli powder and salt are great for seasonings. This is a version of kachumbar which is a kind of small salad-y dish in North Indian cuisine.

    If you can get some decent yoghurt (plain), add chopped cucumber to it with roasted powdered peanuts, a tiny bit of sugar, chopped fresh coriander and salt to taste. Then heat a small bit of oil, add a teaspoon of mustard seeds and wait until they pop. Tip into the yoghurt mixture. You just made cucumber koshimbir ;)

    10 Replies
    1. re: Muchlove

      Sorry, but this koshimbir sounds nauseating. The kachumbar sounds good. I have served the same combination, except without the cumin and chilli powder.

      1. re: wisdomandtruth

        Cardinal CH rule: Yuck ye not another hound's yum.

        1. re: greygarious

          this is where we need the "thumbs up" button. Totally cool of you.

          1. re: chef chicklet

            I was thinking the exact same thing!

        2. re: wisdomandtruth

          Well, each to their own. But koshimbir is essentially cucumber raita with roasted peanut powder added. 1/2-2 tsp sugar is a usual additional and makes a big difference to flavour. Maybe you should try it before knocking it, especially since it is clearly culturally very different from what you are used to. In the same vein, I would advise you to keep the chilli powder in the kachumbar.

          1. re: Muchlove

            Do you make your own roasted peanut powder, or is it purchased. I have found that if I keep peanuts or nuts for that matter, safely packaged and wrapped that they keep for quite some time in the freezer.

            1. re: chef chicklet

              I buy raw peanuts and roast them and powder them as needed, much better taste.

              1. re: Muchlove

                thanks for the tip, I think you must be right, as with anything that I grind when needed the flavor punch is better. Sometimes I want to add a little bit of peanut to a chocolate tart, or even a custard, peanuts or chopped are too rough looking, the powder would be so wonderful with each bite. Will be trying your koshimbir, sounds very nice.

          2. re: wisdomandtruth

            I would totally eat both salads.

          3. re: Muchlove

            omg, I would so eat this! It sounds refreshing and is very similar to my own recipe when I make a chicken dish that is also marinated in a spicy yogurt mix for a few days. Then I serve on grilled naan with lots of fresh herbs, and a beautiful sauce with cucumber, very similar to yours. I can't make enough, my kids and everyone love it, keep cooking and keep posting. I would love to hear more from you!

              1. re: blue room

                Oh gee, with each recipe I've said, "That sounds good!" But now I don't know which one to choose. But as Isolda below hints, it sounds like I may end up with more cucumbers than I'll know what to do with .

                In checking out Ferret's recipe, I came across this Rachel Ray recipe:
                I'm not a fan of hers, but I might try this anyway--using dill instead of parsley.

              2. For your husband, I'd just slice it and dress it with cider vinegar, sugar, and salt to taste. Even some cucumber haters like this.

                When you get tons and tons of cukes, and are totally sick of them, peel them and puree them in your food processor. Then press the mixture through a sieve and mix the juice with a simple syrup that you've flavored with vanilla. Freeze in an ice-cream maker for a wonderful cucumber vanilla sorbet, or just in your freezer for a granita. Everyone I've served this to loves it, and you don't need a recipe.

                1 Reply
                1. Make yourself a cucumber sandwich: thinly sliced white bread, butter, sliced cucumber, and salt. Perhaps not the most inspired of ideas, but so yummy I'm sure you won't regret it.


                  9 Replies
                  1. re: Euonymous

                    That's going to be what I make with my next cucumber, I promise.

                    Maybe 6 years ago, when we lived in San Diego, I read something about a tomato sandwich--never heard of such a thing. Made one as an experiment--had to add onions and some Cheddar cheese since I was pretty sure I couldn't stand tomatoes straight--and couldn't stop eating them for a couple years. It was really weird: I craved them all the time and would have them for lunch and dinner. The craving has left me here in Bham since I don't find the ready supply of great tomatoes I did back in SD.

                    1. re: Birmingham

                      If you planted tomatoes in your garden be prepared to get a WHOLE new addiction to tomato sandwiches. Nothing beats a one made with a ripe, warm almost hot from the sun, just picked cut, tomato and crammed onto (for me the best way) crappy white bread and mayo. Awesome.

                      1. re: Quine

                        I'm very bummed because they aren't growing well at all. The ONE Cherokee purple I was waiting to get ripe...well the birds and bugs got to it first. When I picked it today, it did have that warm from the sun feel. Very sad...

                        But I have planted 3 more types...hopefully I'll get better results.

                        1. re: Quine

                          Quine, doesn't it have to be a Jersey tomato?

                          Gaspacho? got beets, summer borscht w/ buttermilk, sour cream or yogurt.

                        2. re: Birmingham

                          Yes, I have to admit the tomatoes here in San Diego are really something special. I don't know if it is the weather, the soil, or something else but they seem to thrive here and numerous farmer's markets mean that you can find dozens of different heirloom varieties each with different tastes and different purpose.

                        3. re: Euonymous

                          The best thing that can happen to a cucumber, is a cucumber sandwich. I like mine plain, just bread, butter, thinly sliced cucumber, peeled please, with salt and freshly ground pepper. Homestyle wholewheat bread with seeds is my bread choice.

                          I have a Proustian memory of being served such a sandwich by my grandmother. A moisture-beaded glass of cold chocolate milk (from the dairy across the street) accompanied this cucumber bliss.

                          1. re: rakip

                            How high do you stack the cucumber? When I've seen English tea sandwiches, you don't even see the filling. But do you go with a higher cucumber-to-bread ratio?

                            1. re: Birmingham

                              I slice the peeled cucumber very thinly and place two or three layers on the bread. This is like English tea sandwiches in depth but still has plently of flavour.

                          2. re: Euonymous

                            Cucumber, onion, Miracle Whip (or mayo!) and white bread - total yum!