Fresh juicy cucumbers. Help!
July 28, 2011 10:20 PM   Subscribe

I have a couple of questions about my Armenian cucumbers. I need recipes, for one, and also am curious about whether anyone is familiar with variants.

I love these cukes, but we picked 7 yesterday. I don't mind giving some away, but want to enjoy them myself too.. So far we have just been eating them with a bit of vinaigrette. I know Vietnamese food uses a lot of cucumbers, but any variety of your favorite recipe would be welcome. It doesn't look like they are good pickling candidates.

The odd thing about mine is that the skin is tough and must be peeled. Do I have some sort of variant, or am I just picking them when they are too large? I purchased the plant this Spring, and it was definitely labeled Armenian. They look correct, with the pale, grooved skin. It's also as prolific as descriptions have said.
posted by annsunny to Food & Drink (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Oh, I have already checked out this post for some recipe ideas.
posted by annsunny at 10:22 PM on July 28, 2011

I am not familiar with Armenian cucumbers, but here are some of my favorite cucumber recipes (I love cucumber):

From Simply Recipes - I like it with basil.

Sunomono - it's a Japanese cucumber salad. I don't have a particular recipe I am partial to, so google for ideas.

Tzatziki or other cucumber-yogurt salads - I've made this lots of times, but I tend to wing it, so google for recipes.
posted by insectosaurus at 10:32 PM on July 28, 2011

This is the 2nd year I've grown Armenian cukes, yours sound totally normal. Once they get going, a mound will easily produce 10+ pounds per week. We ate as many as we could, but we couldn't keep up. It's normal to remove the seeds and skin, they're edible but the Armenians are best when they're harvested larger than regular cukes, and the seeds and skin are proportionately thicker. I make lots of cucumber tomato salads with them, but more often than not I just sprinkle a little salt over spears or dip them in vinaigrette. You can substitute them in any recipe that uses tomatoes without modification. I made a few batches of pickles with them last year, they needed a little alum to firm them up. The best pickles were sweets canned in pint jars with onions. I selected Armenians that were about the same diameter as the jar, and sliced them to show off their scalloped edges.
posted by TungstenChef at 10:51 PM on July 28, 2011

Tzatziki I am probably spelling it incorrectly. Anyway its a really nice dip and keeps for ages, I have used mao instead of sour cream in a pinch and it made it nice and creamy too. Just make sure you use plain unsweetened yogurt I have made it once with vanilla flavoured by mistake. . it was interesting. Its great as a dip or on gyros/yiros/souvlaki style of thing.
posted by wwax at 10:07 AM on July 29, 2011

Most of the very thinned-skinned ones in the supermarket are hothouse grown. Wind and temperature fluctuations make cucumber skins thicker, no matter what variety. Try picking smaller ones.

There are many varieties, so there are slightly different types to choose from and some have thicker skin than others. It's possible you didn't get a perfectly pure plant, too. Armenian cucumbers are really melons, and they can crossbreed, though usually the hybrids tend to be something really inedible. I once got a hybrid squash plant from the nursery that was supposed to be a yellow squash but was a mottled green and yellow, lumpy, large seeded monster.
posted by oneirodynia at 10:24 AM on July 29, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks for the answers!
posted by annsunny at 9:14 PM on July 29, 2011

You can't go wrong with Agua Fresca de Pepino over a little ice on a hot day. A splash of good gin makes it even better.
posted by nenequesadilla at 3:25 PM on July 31, 2011

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