Saturday, July 23, 2011

I Really Like Cucumbers

Looking for ways to utilize fresh cucumbers, I ran across B. Cohen's web page dedicated to that fruit.  Yes, fruit -- as she explains: From a botanical perspective, a fruit is the mature ovary of a plant, such as an apple, melon, cucumber, or tomato.  That's a good reminder about tomatoes, too!

B gives us a good start on how to use the tasty morsels:
"The traditional English cucumber tea-sandwiches consist of sliced cucumber on white bread spread with butter, with the crusts cut off. Many variations substitute cream cheese for butter, try whichever one you like better. You can also add any herbs you like, try mixing them into the cream cheese. You can also add thin slices of smoked salmon, pickles, sandwich meat, or anything else your heart desires." [Emphasis mine.]
She also mentions one of my favorite recipes (she found on another site) and here's my take on the Creamy Cucumber Salad:
3 medium cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced
1 Tbsp sugar
Dash of salt
1 sweet onion (Vidalia, Texas 1015), sliced into 1/4 thick rings
1/2 cup sour cream
Put cucumbers in a non-metallic bowl. Pour sugar and salt over the cucumbers, cover with plastic wrap and allow to marinate in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Drain cucumbers and mix in the onions and sour cream.  Serve cold.
I also have another simple way of serving cucumbers and onions:
3 medium cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced
1 sweet onion (Vidalia, Texas 1015), sliced into thin rings
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cider vinegar
dash of salt
Boil the salt, sugar, and vinegar until it's a somewhat thickened syrup.  Place cucumbers and onions in a rather flat storage container, then pour the syrup over them. Marinate over night, serve cold.  When adjusting amount, keep sugar:vinegar ration 2:1.
One of these days I'm going to try AllRecipes.com's Cucumber Soup, too.  Along those cold soup lines, I really do like Gazpacho -- the best use for fresh garden vegetables.  The one I like best is:
Finely dice the following fresh vegetables – pieces to be close to the same size:
1 cup tomatoes, seeded
1 medium cucumber, seeded
1 large green pepper (can use other colors, too, to brighten the soup)
1 medium onion (preferably Vidalia or Texas 1015)
1 stalk celery, finely sliced
1 clove garlic, very finely minced
Keep in mind that the tomatoes selected will help determine flavor and texture.  You’ll want them firm and well-meated -- I prefer Romas.
The soup base is:
2 cups tomato juice (spice it up a bit with V-8, or tabasco if desired)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons lemon juice (preferably fresh squeezed)
Salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
Combine soup base, then add vegetables and refrigerate at least an hour before serving – flavors blend more if left overnight. Serve with a bit of basil sprinkled on the top.
Let's hear it for the cucumber, a very tasty fruit!!

1 comment:

  1. Love your recipes. Come and see mine and enter my giveaway!

    ReplyDelete