A Cucumber a Day…

August 19, 2009 at 7:29 pm Leave a comment

This past May when we were buying little seedling plants for our backyard garden, cucumbers seemed like a great idea. Scott has tried pickling cucumbers at home and wanted to give that another shot so we bought two varieties – one for pickling and the other a long, slicing cucumber. Due to a transplant in location the pickling cucumber has not done quite as well, but the slicing variety has really taken off in the past few weeks. In fact, we now have more cucumbers than we know what to do with. Scott has made a cucumber & lemon boy tomato sandwich a regular for his lunches, but we still can’t keep up with the rate at which we have fresh, new cucumbers.

Cucumber in our Garden

Cucumber in our Garden

Baby Cucumber

Baby Cucumber

a single day's cucumber harvest.

A Single Day's Cucumber Harvest

So, in an attempt to not let our cucumbers go to waste, Lauren set the goal of making a new cucumber dish each day last week. We are not big Martha Stewart fans, but we have found that her website yields some good recipes and she happened to have a page of 35 cucumber recipes. A goldmine for our purposes. Using her list as our starting point, we made the following dishes this past week:

Chilled Cucumber Mint Soup

Quick Cucumber and Red Onion Pickled Salad

Pita Bread Salad with Cucumber, Mint, and Feta

Chickpea and Cucumber Salad with Fresh Mint

The Chilled Cucumber Mint Soup is a great summer dish and the combination of the lemon, garlic, mint, and cucumber was robust while also light and refreshing. Next time we prepare this soup, we will start with a smaller amount of the lemon juice and then add more as needed. The Quick Cucumber and Red Onion Pickled Salad was just that – the only thing the title does not give away is the fresh dill you add just before serving. Not a bad little salad, but nothing we are dying to make again soon. The Pita Bread Salad was delicious, light, flavorful and easy to prepare. The crunch of the celery was nice in combination with the fresh cucumber.  Scott also thought the toasted pita would be great substitute for croûtons in a Caesar salad.

Quick Cucumber and Red Onion Pickled Salad

Quick Cucumber and Red Onion Pickled Salad

We definitely liked the Chickpea and Cucumber Salad and will share our version of Martha’s recipe:

  • 2 cucumbers (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed
  • 1/2 cups roughly chopped mint leaves
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and grated
  • 3 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 1/2 cups dried cranberries
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons whole fennel seeds
  • a dash of cumin
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Peel the cucumbers if they are waxed, and cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon, and discard them. Cut cucumbers into 1/4-inch pieces. Place in a medium bowl. Add remaining ingredients, and toss well to combine. Adjust seasonings if necessary. Serve salad at room temperature.


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Entry filed under: American, Lunch, Mediterranean.

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