<3 <3 <3 <3 cukes
July 4, 2010 11:52 AM   Subscribe

I really adore garden fresh cucumbers. In these all-too-brief remaining weeks of cucumber season, what new can I do with them? I already make pickles, a standard cucumber salad (oil, vinegar, red onion) and eat them sliced with salt.
posted by yarly to Food & Drink (47 answers total) 41 users marked this as a favorite
I had a really delicious salad a couple of weeks ago that had cubed watermelon and cucumber, goat cheese, cashews, basil, and a very sparse, light rice wine vinaigrette.
posted by i_am_a_fiesta at 11:53 AM on July 4, 2010 [2 favorites]

cucumber granita to go in your gazpacho.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 11:54 AM on July 4, 2010 [1 favorite]

Tzatziki sauce. Also, muddle one in a margarita.
posted by hermitosis at 11:55 AM on July 4, 2010 [1 favorite]

Slice one up and float in a pitcher of ice water for flavor, with or without mint/lemon.
posted by corey flood at 12:05 PM on July 4, 2010

tabbouleh (i use couscous instead of bulger)
posted by nadawi at 12:10 PM on July 4, 2010

Cucumbers with hummus and sprouts on a sandwich, with vinaigrette. In Denmark cucumber is standard (and really perfect) on dark rye bread spread with leverpostej; I'm not sure it's available in the US but I have seen something in a tube that's close - german braunschweiger.
posted by hereticfig at 12:13 PM on July 4, 2010 [1 favorite]

You can even turn the basic idea of tzatziki into a stand-alone salad that's more cumcumber than yogurt in ratio.

I salt my cucumbers first instead of adding the salt later when assembling the salad; that part is key. Garlic and lemon and a generous sprinkle of pepper are the only other necessary seasonings, dill is optional or parsley if you're not a fan of dill.
posted by slow graffiti at 12:15 PM on July 4, 2010

Cucumber lemonade: Add slices of cucumber to homemade lemonade. Let it steep overnight.

Had some on a hot Philadelphia summer day and I make this every summer to reminisce.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:21 PM on July 4, 2010

Hard boiled egg, cream cheese and cucumber sandwiches.
posted by uauage at 12:22 PM on July 4, 2010 [3 favorites]

You can take them in an Asian direction. Cold noodles with sesame sauce with slivered cucumbers. Philipino style features a coconut chile spiced vinegar; you can approximate the bite with Wasabi or if you have nothing else, horseradish.

Persian style is a thin yogurt drink with slivered cucumber and dill; I think it's spelled "dough" in Farsi but Google will probably give you a bunch of bread dough variations.

I also like Meyer lemon marinade for cukes. Korean stores have a paste of Meyer lemon and honey that is heavenly.
posted by effluvia at 12:28 PM on July 4, 2010 [2 favorites]

cucumber raita - no specific recipe but all the variations

also here in finland they dice it fine and put it in a potato salad that is also diced finely
posted by infini at 12:32 PM on July 4, 2010

Cucumber with a dip of any of the following:
Sour cream
Sour cream and italian dressing mix
sour cream and soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce mix

Quick pickling with vinegar, sugar, and onion pieces (if you don't do the onions in your pickles, add em in)
posted by deezil at 12:34 PM on July 4, 2010

Bacon, cream cheese, and cucumber sandwiches.
posted by eleslie at 12:41 PM on July 4, 2010 [2 favorites]

My grandma makes a killer cucumber salad with sour cream, I think it's something like this.
posted by kylej at 12:42 PM on July 4, 2010

Cucumber Benedictine spread for sandwiches is really delicious. Recipes vary: it's cucumbers blended in the food processor with onion(s), cream cheese, mayonnaise (from a tablespoon to 1/4 cup), sometimes sour cream, salt, sometimes tabasco (which I think is nasty in it) and green food coloring. Spread on thin white bread (I like Pepperridge Farm sandwich bread for it), cut into wedges.

Also, you can put your cucumbers in Pimm's.
posted by crush-onastick at 12:44 PM on July 4, 2010 [2 favorites]

Cucumber (peeled, seeded), yogurt, mint, and salt. Throw them in a blender and make cold soup.
posted by adamrice at 12:53 PM on July 4, 2010

Salt very thinly sliced cucumber, without seeds. Rinse and SQEEEEEZE all the liquid you can out of them. Toss with a little soy, a little rice vinegar, sliced scallion, sesame oil, chili pepper (korean chili if you have it!) and sesame seeds. Let soak in dressing for an hour or more. Eat cold... with rice, or noodles, or just on their own. Just as tasty without the chili powder.
posted by Swisstine at 1:29 PM on July 4, 2010

This recipe for gurkensalat is SO addictive. It's a nice variation on the cucumbers + oil/vinegar and the cucumbers + dill/dairy recipes. (One of these days I should convert it from the weight measurements so I don't need a food scale.) Shhh... the secret ingredient is tons of sugar... but the end product is still fresh and crisp and delicious, and you can smell and taste Summer in all of the individual ingredients.
posted by Gable Oak at 1:31 PM on July 4, 2010 [1 favorite]

I just peel and slice, then throw them in a pie dish with salt and rice vinegar to cover. Totally simple and we eat them like candy.
posted by mygothlaundry at 1:37 PM on July 4, 2010

This has been posted before but here it is again:

Spicy Pineapple-Cucumber Gazpacho


4 cups cucumber, chopped and peeled (1 lrg English cucumber)
4 cups chopped pineapple (1 large or two small)
1 cup fresh pineapple juice (or an extra cup of pineapple, if you don't have access to good, pure juice)
1 small red chili, seeded and chopped (if you want less spice use a jalepeno)
1 green onion (white and 1 inch of green), chopped
1 tbs lime juice
2 tsp sea salt
1 handful of cilantro leaves, plus a few extra for garnish
3 tbs of avacado oil, macadamia oil, or extra virgin olive oil
1 handful of finely chopped macadamia nuts (optional)

Do This

In a blender, add 3 cups each of cucumber and pineapple, the pineapple juice, chili, lime juice, salt, green onion. Blend until smooth.

Add remaining 1 cup pineapple and cucumber, the handful of cilantro, and 1 1/2 tbs oil. Pulse a few quick times (you want it to remain chunky). Taste for seasoning.

Chill in fridge.

Distribute evenly among bowls and evenly divvy up the Macadamia nuts, if using. Drizzle remaining oil and garnish with a bit of cilantro.
posted by dobbs at 1:41 PM on July 4, 2010 [4 favorites]

when we were in Turkey, they stuffed them like stuffed peppers and tomatoes with rice and spices and cooked together in a pan with stuffed grapeleaves, peppers and tomatoes--I thought they might be soggy cooked, but they were delicious!
posted by beckish at 1:46 PM on July 4, 2010

Cucumbers, tomatoes, scallions, and sour cream. Let sit for a couple hours before you consume. Yum.
posted by litnerd at 2:16 PM on July 4, 2010

I juice cucumbers. Mix with a dash of cold, sparkling water. Serve on hot days with ice and a slice (of cucumber, naturally).

Or for a dead simple tzatziki recipem mix up the following:

- 500g greek yoghurt;
- One cucumber, peeled, and diced very, very small.
- A clove or two of garlic (no more than two)
- A teaspon of dried mint
- A few pinches of freshly chopped mint
- Salt

This is best made just before eating. If that isn't possible, add the garlic in no more than 2 hours before serving. Drizzle olive oil on the finished article just before serving. Goes brilliantly with souvlaki (150-200g of cubed pork loin, marinaded in fresh lemon juice, some chopped flat leaf parsley, a teaspoon of dried oregano, dash of olive oil. Then make up into kabobs/kebabs).
posted by MuffinMan at 2:24 PM on July 4, 2010

Cucumber Thai salad.

Thinly sliced cucumber, sliced red onions, thinly sliced thai chilis; top with cilantro, chopped dry roasted peanuts; in a bowl.

The dressing is equal parts water, white vinegar and sugar. Pour over salad just before eating.
posted by the Real Dan at 2:36 PM on July 4, 2010 [1 favorite]

Another vote for cucumber soup. I'll seed/slice them and let them marinate in a little salt, a pinch of sugar, and some red wine vinegar for a half hour. Meanwhile, saute some small shrimp in butter, plus a little salt and pepper. When the shrimp turn pink, remove them with a slotted spoon, then deglaze the pan with a little white wine or vermouth. Pour the sauce over the shrimp and set aside. Drain and blend cukes with buttermilk or yogurt plus plenty of fresh dill. Adjust seasoning, stir in shrimp, and chill for a couple of hours. I could eat this all summer long.
posted by scody at 2:37 PM on July 4, 2010 [1 favorite]

Cucumber-chili paletas if you have a popsicle mold.
posted by fancyoats at 2:40 PM on July 4, 2010

Cucumber kimchi-ish stuff that my mom makes:

This is for one long cucumber. Wash, peel, and slice 1/4 inch thick, then maybe cut those slices in halves or quarters.

Sprinkle about 1 1/2 tsps of salt onto the slices. Let your cucumbers sit for about 15 minutes.

Mix, rinse and strain.

In a medium bowl, mix:

I clove crushed garlic
1 tsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp hot pepper*
1/4 tsp toasted crushed sesame seeds (optional
chopped scallions (optional)
1 tsp. sesame oil

Toss the cucumbers in the mix. Serve as a side with sticky rice, kalbi, etc.

*The hot pepper you'll want is a standard Korean red pepper flakes/powder.
posted by brina at 2:55 PM on July 4, 2010 [1 favorite]

Infuse vodka. Use to make a very delicate, refreshing martini.
posted by nestor_makhno at 3:06 PM on July 4, 2010

I love a simple wrap with cucumber, spinach, cream cheese and ranch dressing.
posted by saffry at 3:33 PM on July 4, 2010

Half a cucumber (quartered and sliced), juice of one lime, one shot gin, dash bitters (Angostura), dash simple syrup, fill with soda water. DRINK ALL SUMMER
posted by klangklangston at 3:36 PM on July 4, 2010

Kachumber! It's an Indian chopped salad with cucumber, tomato, onion and some spices, juice and vinegar for dressing.

Also I like to slice cucumbers thinly and toss them in a glass of water. It makes it even more refreshing.
posted by amapolita at 3:51 PM on July 4, 2010

Ventimiglia italian salad

2 cucumbers, very thinly sliced, heavily salted and placed in a colander to drain for at least 30 minutes
2 hard boiled eggs, sliced
2 ripe tomatoes, sliced
1 green pepper, julienned
1 cup of kalamata olives
vinaigrette (3 Tbs oil, 1 Tbs white wine vinegar, salt and pepper to taste)

Rinse cucumbers until no longer salty, pat dry, and dispose on the bottom of a 8x8 dish. Layer with the sliced tomatoes. Sprinkle the green pepper on top. Douse with the vinaigrette and garnish with the olives and eggs. Refrigerate for 20 minutes
posted by francesca too at 3:52 PM on July 4, 2010

Bulgarian Tarator is a delicious summer soup made with yogurt and dill. So refreshing!
posted by pickypicky at 5:08 PM on July 4, 2010

Speaking of kachumber, if you want something a little less orthodox you should definitely try the Kachumber cocktail! It features muddled cucumber. Also it is straight up delicious -- especially if you like drinks that are a little fiery and not too sweet. (Looking over the most recent suggestions, it sort of splits the difference between amapolita's and klangklangston's.)

Using cucumber instead of lemon for cold water is also very nice, especially if you let it steep for a bit.
posted by en forme de poire at 5:39 PM on July 4, 2010

I'm Bulgarian, and I also love cucumbers. pickypicky, the recipe you linked to is by no means a standard recipe (water?! blenders!?), and I would consider it inedible, to be frank. Real tarator is made with yogurt. Make sure you buy Greek or Russian yogurt; standard American plain yogurt is strangely sweet and just doesn't work with this recipe. Here is a more common recipe:

One big or a couple of smaller cucumbers (hot-house English cucumbers just won't work for this; Japanese or Persian cucumbers are good year-round)
A pint or so of plain Greek or Russian yogurt, preferably bought several days ago or closer to the expiration date so it's approaching real Bulgarian yogurt in sourness
Two cloves of garlic (some people don't like the garlic, so try adding in to the individual bowls of those who want it)
Good quality salad olive oil
A handful of walnuts
Fresh dill weed, to taste
Salt, freshly ground black pepper

Peel the cucumber if the peel is tough (you can leave it on with most Persian cucumber varieties), chop it into small cubes. Finely chop garlic. Put cubes in bowl, add plenty of salt (remember, there should be enough salt for all the yogurt), pepper, the garlic, a table spoon of olive oil, mix. Let sit while you chop the walnuts (or grate them in a cheese grater) and the fresh dill finely. Add nuts and herbs to bowl, stir.
Give the yogurt a good shake in its container, until it's in a more liquid and homogenous state. Add to cucumbers, add cold spring water or filtered tap water to taste (it's good very thin when you're feeling thirsty and dehydrated, or thicker when you are hungrier). Serve immediately or store for an hour or so in the frig or at room temperature until ready to serve.

Some people grate the cucumber. My family frowns upon that preparation (we call it "lazy"), and find it only suitable for older people who happen to be missing their teeth.
posted by halogen at 5:45 PM on July 4, 2010 [1 favorite]

I add thinly sliced cucumber to instant ramen.
posted by halogen at 5:47 PM on July 4, 2010

Freeze it and make a smoothie w/honeydew and mint.
posted by 10ch at 6:35 PM on July 4, 2010

Cucumber tuna boats: slice in half, dig out the seeds, fill with tuna salad. Yum.

One of my favorite dishes of all time is cucumber tomato salad. Cut both tomato and cucumber into smallish cubes, toss with Italian dressing. Some people add diced onions. Simple and delightfully tasty, particularly with harden-fresh cucumbers and tomatoes.
posted by galadriel at 7:06 PM on July 4, 2010

Slight variation on the salad you already make: cut cucumbers and radishes into thin slices or strips (same shape and size for both), add sesame oil + salt, for more of an asian flavor salad. Delicious!

I also make a delicious sidedish out of beans + chopped mango + chopped cucumbers + cilantro + salt + a little bit of olive oil + a little bit of vinegar. Sometimes I use buckwheat instead of beans.

Slice cucumbers real thin and put them on a lox + cream cheese bagel, or in pita with lox + cream cheese.
posted by KateHasQuestions at 7:25 PM on July 4, 2010

Make a gin and tonic with Hendricks Gin, and use a cucumber slice instead of a lime or lemon wedge.
posted by kjs4 at 8:35 PM on July 4, 2010

Cucumber dill sauce is excellent on baked or poached salmon. My recipe is similar to this one: Salmon with Cucumber Dill Sauce
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 8:59 PM on July 4, 2010

Also this Couscous Salad makes a light and refreshing summer meal:

3 cup cooked couscous
1 cup canned garbanzo beans, drained
1 cup tomato(es)
1 cup cucumber(s)
3 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 1/2 tsp olive oil


Prepare couscous according to package directions, omitting oil/butter. Let cool. Peel, seed and chop cucumber. Chop tomato and cilantro. Mix vegetables, garbanzo beans, cilantro and cooled couscous in a large bowl. Whisk together lime juice and olive oil. Pour over couscous mixture and mix well. Chill for at least 2 hours.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 9:12 PM on July 4, 2010 [1 favorite]

If you are dextrous enough, cucumber sushi (maki) is very light and refreshing.

Or you can make clumsy lazy gaijin cucumber "sushi": cut cucumbers into thin strips. Wrap strips in sheet of nori. Dip into soy sauce. Add wasabi if desired (and it should be desired!)
posted by Ladysin at 9:40 PM on July 4, 2010 [1 favorite]

I don't see this on the list, so I'll add:

Hold a traditional High Tea at 4pm after a football match.

Serve sandwiches of tomato, watercress and cucumber.

I'll have the Double Devon Cream and Sharp Cheddar as well.

Long Live the Queen!
posted by effluvia at 8:03 AM on July 5, 2010 [1 favorite]

Marinate them in Asian flavors overnight. Delicious. Here's my mom's version as a starting point if you need one:
2 cups cucumbers
1 tsp salt
1 tbs sugar
1 tbs soy sauce
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp sesame seeds

In a large bowl, combine cucumbers with salt and mix well. Add sugar, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and sesame oil and mix well. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and mix. Let marinate for at least 20 minutes before serving. (I like 'em best after a night submerged when they're transparent and floppy and super tangy-salty-sweet. Mm!)
Cucumbers make an excellent garnish to old fashioned summer drinks, by the way. Someone on AskMe a while back mentioned putting slices of cucumber in ice water to drink--sounds weird but is very refreshing. Here's a made up cocktail a friend of mine came up with, along with his original notes:
Cucumber Fifty-fifty
2 oz gin
1 oz dry vermouth
1 oz white vermouth
6 cucumber slices, thin
1 dash orange bitters (optional)

(This is one I made up. Technically it is a variation on a classic martini variation (recursion!) called a Fifty-fifty, which is simply equal parts vermouth and gin, often with a dash of orange bitters. Even more technically, it is a variation on a perfect Fifty-fifty, which, according to the mixologist's definition of "perfect", means equal parts sweet and dry vermouth. If you've never tried a perfect martini, I can't recommend it highly enough.

White vermouth is a type of sweet vermouth. It has a lighter, more citrus-y, less syrupy flavor than standard sweet vermouth, and lacks the red color which can make normal sweet vermouth an unsuitable mixer. It is increasingly available in most liquor stores. Hendrick's gin apparently is made with cucumber, so may go well in this, but I am poor and use Seagram's, which works just fine.)

Add the alcohols and five slices of cucumber to the mixer. Muddle and allow to macerate for at least five minutes. Add ice to the shaker, shake vigorously, and strain into cocktail glass. Garnish with the last slice of cucumber. Add a dash of orange bitters if you have them around the house.
posted by ifjuly at 9:37 AM on July 5, 2010

I totally forgot to mention for those Asian Marinated Cucumbers, slice them first, very thin (duh!). Whoops.
posted by ifjuly at 9:37 AM on July 5, 2010

Over the weekend we came up with a couple of great cucumber recipes that feature cucumber cups.
posted by bug138 at 1:05 PM on July 5, 2010

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