Cucumbers

Braised Cucumber

after watching Julie & Julia I had to look this up. Looking forward to trying it! -Jess Fischer

1 huge cucumber (or 2 regular sized)
1 tablespoon butter
1 dash salt
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 pinch dried mint

Peel cucumber. Cut into quarters and remove seeds. Cut into 1 inch pieces. Melt butter in a pan and add cucumber. Cover and cook about 5 minutes on medium heat. Stir in salt, lemon, and mint. Cover and cook another 2 minutes. Enjoy eating heaven on a plate.

Brown Rice Tabouli

This recipe comes from our Spring Hill cookbook and was contributed by Kathleen Morton.

3 cups cooked and cooled brown rice
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
1 tsp garlic, minced
¼ cup olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
2-3 tomatoes, seeded and diced
2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded and diced
1 cup parsley, finely chopped
½ cup scallions (including greens), chopped
8 oz feta, crumbled

Combine rice, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper in a bowl. Mix thoroughly, cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours, if possible. Just before serving, mix in tomatoes, parsley, cucumbers, scallion and feta.

Chinese Cucumber Salad

3-4 cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced
Thinly sliced fresh white or red onion
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon ginger, finely chopped

Slice cucumbers and onions and put in shallow bowl. Mix remaining ingredients and pour over cucumbers. Mix thoroughly. Chill until you are ready to serve.

Crunchy Cucumbers with Onion and Fresh Cheese
serves 4 (or more with melon) (The Heart of the Plate; 2013)
The author, Mollie Katzen, highly recommends the addition of diced cantaloupe or watermelon (the same amount and size of the cucumbers) added when you toss in the cheese along with thin strips of mint or basil.  I will back her up on this, the addition of watermelon and mint was excellent!  I’ve replaced the red onion in the original recipe with scallions and enjoyed it with crumbled feta.

¼ cup seasoned rice vinegar
Up to 2 tsp. sugar (optional)
about 6 scallions, white and green parts, sliced
3 – 4 smaller cucumbers, cut into ½ inch chunks
1 cup or more crumbled or diced fresh cheese (Mexican queso fresco, ricotta salata, manouri, or feta)
Black pepper
Salt (optional)

1. Pour the vinegar in a medium bowl.  Add the sugar, if using, and stir until it dissolves.  Add the onion and cucumber and stir to coat as you go.  Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.
2. Shortly before serving, gently toss in the cheese and melon or herbs if using.  Season to taste with pepper and a little salt if needed.

Cucumber Feta Cheese Salad

4 small-medium cucumbers sliced 1⁄4” thick
8 oz. feta cheese, drained if necessary
1⁄2 cup mild onion, sliced
1⁄4 cup lemon juice
1⁄4 cup olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Fresh parsley or mint for garnish (optional)

Put garlic, oil, vinegar, basil, salt, Parmesan, and pepper in a blender; process 2-3
seconds. With the blender still running, slowly add milk, processing until dressing is
thick and smooth. Pour over chard. Covered and refrigerated, this dress will keep one
week. Makes 1-1/2 cups.

Cucumber Limeade

English cucumber, (about 1 pound) That’s the smooth skinned cucumber(s) in your bag!
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup sugar
Juice of 1 lime
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup ice cubes

Peel English cucumber; remove any seeds. Coarsely chop and combine in a blender with water, sugar, lime juice, coarse salt, and ice cubes; blend until smooth. Serve over ice, garnished with cucumber spears, if desired. Serves 4.

Cucumber Salad with Feta & Oregano

serves 4 (Minnesota’s Bounty by Beth Dooley; 2013)
Ingredients:
• 1 small shallot, minced (or use the equivalent of minced fresh onions)
• 2 tsp. red wine vinegar
• 6-8 small cucumbers
• Leaves from 2 sprigs oregano (or use the equivalent of dill from this week’s bag?)
• ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
• Course salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1 ounce crumbled feta (about ¼ cup)
Directions:
• Place shallot/onion and vinegar in a small bowl, and set it aside to macerate for a few minutes (this helps soften the shallots bite)
• Peel the cucumbers and cut them in ½ lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds. Cut them crosswise into slices about ¼ inch thick (about 4 cups). Put the cucumber in a bowl and add the oregano leaves (or chopped dill), and toss.
• Whisk the oil into the red wine vinegar and shallots. Pour the dressing over the cucumbers, season with salt and pepper, and toss. Chill. Sprinkle with feta prior to serving. Serve this salad well chilled.

Cucumber Salad with Peanuts

serves 4 – This recipe originally appeared in a Spring Hill 2010 newsletter. Its delicious and worth the time to make! Start the dressing while the cucumbers are draining.
Ingredients:
•1-1/2 lbs. cucumber, peeled if desired, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced (about 4 cups)
•2 tsp. kosher salt
•½ cup rice vinegar
•½ cup water
•3 tbsp. sugar
•¼ tsp. crushed red pepper
•2 tbsp. minced red onion
•1 tbsp. chopped dry-roasted peanuts
Directions:
1- Place cucumber slices in a colander and sprinkle with salt. Toss well. Drain for 1 hour. Place cucumber slices on several layers of paper towels or on clean cloth towels, cover with additional towels. Let stand 5 minutes, pressing down occasionally. Rinse and pat dry.
2- Combine vinegar, water, sugar and pepper in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cook until reduced to 1/3 cup (about 10 minutes). Remove vinegar reduction from heat and cool completely. Stir in onion.
3- Combine cucumbers and vinegar reduction in a medium bowl and toss well. Sprinkle with peanuts.

Cucumbers with Onions, Cilantro, & Lots of Herbs

serves 4 (adapted from Six Season; 2017)

1 lb. cucumbers
1 medium red onion
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
¼ cup plain whole-milk yogurt (not Greek)
1 small handful cilantro leaves
1 small handful basil leaves
1 small bunch chives, cut into 3-inch lengths
1 small cluster dill sprigs
Extra-virgin olive oil

Peel cucumbers if desired, trim stem ends, halve them lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds. Cut into 1/8 inch slices and put in a large colander.   Cut off the ends of the onion, halve it lengthwise, and cut into half-moon slices, add to the colander.

Salt the vegetables generously (about 2 tsp.), tossing and let everything sit for about 40 minutes.  (This will soften the aggressive flavor of the onion and draw out the excess moisture from the cucumber.) Remove the onion and cucumber from the colander, blot dry with towels, then pile into a large bowl.

Add the vinegar and toss well, add yogurt and toss, add herbs and toss.  Season with pepper. Taste and add more salt, vinegar or pepper as needed.  Finish with a shot of olive oil and toss again.

Dilled Cabbage-And-Cucumber Slaw

Serves 6-8 (Martha Stewart Living; July/August 2017) Author’s Note: To avoid a watery salad, the cucumber should be added to the fresh slaw right before serving. Peel, seed and cut them, then keep the in a separate container until ready to serve.
Ingredients:
1⁄2 head cabbage (1 1/2 lbs.) finely shredded (8 cups)
2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/4 – inch pieces (2 cups)
2/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1⁄4 cup coarsely chopped fresh dill
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Directions:
Stir together cabbage, sour cream, mayo, lemon juice, and dill. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 6 hours. Stir in cucumbers. Adjust seasonings; serve.

Slightly Sweet Dill Refrigerator Pickles

There are lots of refrigerator pickle recipes out there. Try this one – or look for one that suits your tastes! From Bon Appetit, June 2008
1 small sweet onion (such as Vidalia or Maui), thinly sliced
2 pounds medium pickling cucumbers, scrubbed, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
1 large bunch dill, coarsely chopped (stems included)
1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds
2 teaspoons whole white peppercorns
1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons coarse kosher salt
2 teaspoons dill seeds
Preparation:
Divide sliced onion between two 1-quart wide-mouth glass jars. Pack cucumber slices horizontally in jars. Top each jar with dill.
Using mortar and pestle or resealable plastic bag and mallet, crush mustard seeds and peppercorns together. Place crushed spices in medium saucepan. Add vinegar, 1 cup water, sugar, coarse salt, and dill seeds. Bring mixture to boil over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves.
Ladle mixture evenly over cucumbers. Leave jars uncovered and chill 24 hours. Cover glass pickle jars tightly with lids. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 week ahead. Keep refrigerated. Yield: Makes 2 quarts

Spicy Quinoa, Cucumber and Tomato Salad

from New York Times Recipes for Health by Martha Rose Shulman
1 cup quinoa
3 cups water
Salt to taste
2 cups diced cucumber
1 small red onion, finely minced (optional)
2 cups finely diced tomatoes
1 to 2 jalapeño or serrano peppers (to taste), seeded if desired and finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped cilantro, plus several sprigs for garnish
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 avocado, sliced, for garnish

1. Place the quinoa in a bowl, and cover with cold water. Let sit for five minutes. Drain through a strainer, and rinse until the water runs clear. Bring the 3 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add salt (1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon) and the quinoa. Bring back to a boil, and reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer 15 minutes or until the quinoa is tender and translucent; each grain should have a little thread. Drain off the water in the pan through a strainer, and return the quinoa to the pan. Cover the pan with a clean dishtowel, replace the lid and allow to sit for 10 minutes. If making for the freezer, uncover and allow to cool, then place in plastic bags. Flatten the bags and seal.
2. Meanwhile, place the finely diced cucumber in a colander, and sprinkle with salt. Toss and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Rinse the cucumber with cold water, and drain on paper towels. If using the onion, place in a bowl and cover with cold water. Let sit for five minutes, then drain, rinse with cold water and drain on paper towels.
3. Combine the tomatoes, chiles, cilantro, vinegar, lime juice and olive oil in a bowl. Add the cucumber and onion, season to taste with salt, and add the quinoa and cilantro. Toss together, and taste and adjust seasonings. Serve garnished with sliced avocado and cilantro sprigs. Serves 6.

Spicy Dill Quick Pickles

Christine Douglas sent this versatile recipe and note along. I’ll bet it would work well with the kohlrabi too!
Here is a simple recipe for refrigerator pickles. Easy and tasty, and a great way to extend the shelf life of farm produce. They are ready in 24 hours, and will last up to a month in the fridge. I tried green beans, cukes, carrots, and zucchini. I also used Spring Hill’s fresh thyme and cilantro, instead of dill – and it worked fine.

1. 12 oz vegetables
2. 3 tablespoons kosher salt
3. 2 tablespoons sugar
4. 1 1/4 cups distilled white vinegar (5 percent acidity)
5. 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
6. 6 large garlic cloves, halved
7. 4 to 6 long red or green hot chiles, halved lengthwise
8. 16 dill sprigs
1. Pack vegetables into 2 clean 1-quart glass jars. In another jar, combine the salt, sugar, vinegar, coriander and garlic. Shake until the salt and sugar dissolve. Add 2 cups of water and pour the brine over the vegetables. Tuck the chiles and dill between the vegetables. Add enough water to keep the vegetables submerged. Close the jars and refrigerate overnight or for up to 1 month.
Here is the link–
http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/spicy-dill-quick-pickles which includes some instructions on how to prep various vegetables including blanching beans and carrots for 2 minutes.

Spicy Refrigerator Pickles

Our son David is making these refrigerator pickles that member Laura Murphy shared a while back. David cut the sugar in half just because that’s the way we like them and he did add a jalapeno as Laura suggested.
The quick pickles are super easy. The base recipe is 1 cup each of sugar, vinegar, and water, plus 1 TB of salt. Then, I add some sliced up garlic (one or two cloves), ginger (a thumb size knob, peeled), and some red pepper flakes or other spices I find in the cupboard (Szechuan peppercorns? Why not?). I am sure a sliced up jalapeno would not go amiss either. Then give it a good stir, add thinly sliced cucumbers and let them marinate for at least 20 minutes. It usually takes me close to a week to get through the entire batch, so I’d say they are good at least that long.
That amount of pickling solution was plenty for the 4 cucumbers I put in it last week. The bigger constraint was the size of my container.

Hot Day Cucumber Soup

Diane Clayton- Diane brought this to a recent Harvest Day and is was delicious!

4 cups cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
2 cups plain yogurt (or buttermilk, kefir, or a combo)
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 T honey
½ t salt
Several fresh mint leaves
1 T fresh dill leaves, or ½ t. dried dill weed

Puree everything together in a blender or food processor. Chill.

Serve cold. May garnish with fresh chopped scallions or chives.

Refrigerator Pickles

Marian Wright’s recipe

2 large or 3 medium cucumbers, washed.
Score skin by putting the tines of a sharp fork down the full length all around the cucumbers
Slice very thin
Put in a bowl and sprinkle with 2 teaspoons salt and 6 tablespoons sugar
Add 2/3 cup white or cider vinegar
With wooden spoon, press slices until all cucumbers become quite juicy
Refrigerate. These will keep up to a couple of weeks.

Spicy Refrigerator Pickles

Laura Murphy was telling me about these pickles when she was out here recently. She’s not a big dill fan nor am I. These pickles sound terrific! Here’s how Laura makes them.

The quick pickles are super easy. The base recipe is 1 cup each of sugar, vinegar, and water, plus 1 TB of salt.

Then, I add some sliced up garlic (one or two cloves), ginger (a thumb size knob, peeled), and some red pepper flakes or other spices I find in the cupboard (Szechuan peppercorns? Why not?). I am sure a sliced up jalapeno would not go amiss either.
Then give it a good stir, add thinly sliced cucumbers and let them marinate for at least 20 minutes. It usually takes me close to a week to get through the entire batch, so I’d say they are good at least that long.

That amount of pickling solution was plenty for the 4 cucumbers I put in it last week. The bigger constraint was the size of my container.

Tzatziki Cucumbers

1 medium cucumber, chopped 8 ounces yogurt
2 garlic cloves, chopped 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint or ¼ teaspoon dried
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Combine ingredients, chill, and serve. Makes 2-3 servings.