Cucumbers are a refreshing seasonal flavor

This versatile vegetable is a nutritious ingredient in everything from beverages to main dishes

    Cucumbers are among the most refreshing tastes of summer.
    The vegetable can be used in everything from beverages to side dishes to entrees — and, of course, pickles.
    They can be peeled, seeded and eaten with a salad dressing or spicy Thai sauce for a quick snack or shredded and mixed with vanilla yogurt.
    Make a great sandwich filling by combining sliced cucumbers with tuna, fresh lettuce and alfalfa sprouts.
    A quick cucumber salad can be made by creating a dressing of 1/4 cup  milk,  1/4 cup mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon vinegar and 1 tablespoon sugar, a dash of dill and salt and pepper to taste. Combine the dressing with some sliced cucumbers and sweet onion, refrigerate for an hour and serve.
    Cucumbers should be harvested when they are evenly green all over, firm and crisp.
    Most cucumbers intended for eating taste best if they’re 6 to 8 inches long, while pickling cucumbers should be 2 to 3 inches long for sweet pickles or 5 to 6 inches for dill pickles.
    Cucumbers should be stored in a moist, cool place, about 55 degrees. They will last a week if given plenty of air circulation, but generally, it’s best to eat them fresh.
    Wash cucumbers right before using them.
    Cucumbers are great for juicing and contain potassium and calcium, among other nutrients.
    Following are cucumber recipes from

bon appetit

Crispy Thai Pork With Cucumber Salad

1/2 English hothouse cucumber, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise
1 shallot, thinly sliced
2 red or green Thai chiles, with seeds, thinly sliced
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
Kosher salt
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 pound ground pork
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 teaspoons light brown sugar
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
2 heads Bibb lettuce, leaves separated
Steamed white rice
Lime wedges

    Toss cucumber, shallot, 1 chile and 1/4 cup lime juice in a medium bowl. Season with salt, then set aside.
    Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add garlic and remaining chile and cook, stirring, about 30 seconds, until garlic just begins to turn golden. Add pork, season with salt and pepper and cook six to eight minutes, breaking meat up with a spoon, until cooked through and browned.
    Add broth, soy sauce, fish sauce and brown sugar and cook about two minutes, scraping up brown bits from the bottom of skillet, until liquid is almost completely evaporated. Mix in remaining lime juice.
    Toss basil, cilantro and mint in a medium bowl.
    Serve pork with herbs, lettuce, rice, lime wedges, and reserved cucumber salad alongside.



Raw Beet and Cucumber Salad

4 small Chioggia and/or yellow beets, peeled, halved, very thinly sliced
1/2 English hothouse cucumber, peel removed in thin alternating strips, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced
2 Persian or kirby cucumbers, peel removed in thin alternating strips, thinly sliced
6 scallions, white and pale-green parts only, sliced into 2-inch-long thin strips
2 Fresno chiles, very thinly sliced
1 Hungarian wax chile, very thinly sliced
Zest of 1 lemon, removed in wide strips, very thinly sliced
5 ounces ricotta salata, crumbled
2 cups torn mixed tender herbs such as basil, mint, parsley, cilantro and/or fennel fronds
1/4 cup Sauvignon Blanc vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons poppy seeds, plus more
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
Olive oil, for drizzling

    Toss beets, cucumbers, scallions, both chiles, lemon zest, ricotta salata and herbs in a large bowl to combine. Add vinegar, sugar, and 2 teaspoons poppy seeds. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with oil. Toss salad gently to coat. Taste and drizzle with more vinegar if needed.
    Transfer salad to a platter, lightly drizzle with more oil and sprinkle with more poppy seeds.


Strawberry Cucumber Ice Pops

2 English hothouse cucumbers, peeled, chopped
4 10-ounce bags frozen strawberries
1-1/2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 cup sugar
Pinch of kosher salt

    Purée one cucumber, half of the strawberries, lime zest, lime juice and sugar in a blender until very smooth. Transfer to a large pitcher or measuring cup.
    Repeat with remaining cucumber, strawberries, lime zest, lime juice and sugar. Season with salt and stir to combine.
    Pour strawberry-cucumber mixture into ice-pop molds. Cover and insert sticks. Freeze at least four hours, until solid. Dip molds briefly in hot water to release pops.
    Ice pops can be made one week ahead. Keep frozen.


Spicy Beef and Cucumbers With Black Vinegar

1 medium English hothouse cucumber or 3 kirby cucumbers
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound ground beef
Kosher salt
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 red chiles, finely chopped
1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons black Chinkiang vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
Freshly ground black pepper
Steamed rice, cooked ramen or chopped romaine, for serving
1-1/2 cups mixed tender herbs such as mint, basil and/or cilantro
Lime wedges, for serving

    Cut cucumbers crosswise into four-inch-thick pieces. Using a rolling pin or the flat side of a chef’s knife, lightly crush cucumbers, then slice crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices and set aside.
    Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add beef and a pinch of salt, break meat into small pieces with a wooden spoon, then spread out in pan to create a single layer and cook about five minutes, undisturbed, until bottom side is browned and crisp. Break up meat with a spatula and turn over pieces. Cook five to seven minutes, until other side is browned and crisp and meat is cooked through.
    Push meat to one side of pan and add garlic and chiles. Cook about two minutes, stirring often, until fragrant and softened. Mix garlic and chile into meat. Add shallot and reserved cucumbers and cook about four minutes, tossing occasionally and scraping up any browned bits, until cucumbers are softened and translucent. Remove skillet from heat and stir in vinegar, soy sauce and sugar. Set skillet over medium heat and cook about two minutes, stirring, until sauce is reduced slightly. Season with salt and pepper.
    Spoon beef and cucumbers over rice and top with herbs. Serve with lime wedges.


Quick Aleppo Dill Pickles

8 Persian cucumbers, quartered lengthwise
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh dill
2-1/2 cups distilled white vinegar
1/3 cup sugar
1 garlic clove, finely grated
1 tablespoon Aleppo pepper
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Za’atar and flaky sea salt, for serving

    Pack cucumber and dill into a large heatproof jar. Bring vinegar, sugar, garlic, Aleppo pepper, lemon juice, kosher salt, red pepper flakes and black pepper to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar. Let cool slightly, then pour brine over cucumbers to submerge. Seal jar and chill at least 30 minutes.
    To serve, remove cucumber spears from brine, lightly shaking off excess liquid but leaving on any seasonings and sprinkle with za’atar and sea salt.
    Cucumbers can be made two days ahead. Remove from brine but do not dry and chill in an airtight container.


Falafel Fritters Bowl With Cucumber and Yogurt Sauce

2 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained
1 large egg
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley, plus 1 cup whole leaves with tender stems
3/4 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 medium red onion
8 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus wedges for serving
4 Persian cucumbers or 1/2 English hothouse cucumber, cut into 1-inch irregular pieces

    Mix chickpeas, egg, cornstarch, cumin, 1/4 cup chopped parsley, and 1/4 cup yogurt in a large bowl. Generously season with salt and pepper.
    Finely chop half of onion. Add 1/4 cup onions to bowl with chickpea mixture and reserve the rest.
    Mash mixture until you’ve broken up almost all of the chickpeas and a thick, coarse paste forms. Some of the chickpeas can be left in larger pieces. Using your hands or a measuring cup, portion mixture into 16 balls that are a scant 1/4 cup. Roll each ball gently between your palms and transfer to a rimmed baking sheet or plate.
    Press balls with your palm to flatten to a 1/2-inch-thick patty.
    Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add three tablespoons oil and swirl pan to coat. When oil is hot, add half of the fritters and press down on top of each with a spatula to flatten into discs. Cook fritters three to five minutes, until dark golden brown and crisp. Turn over with a thin metal  spatula and cook on the second side three to five minutes, until browned and crisp. Transfer fritters to a plate or wire rack.
    Repeat with three more tablespoons oil and remaining fritters.
    Stir remaining yogurt and one tablespoon lemon juice in a small bowl, then season with salt and pepper.
    Thinly slice remaining red onion. Transfer to a large bowl, then add cucumbers and remaining parsley, one tablespoon lemon juice and two tablespoons oil. Season with salt and pepper, then toss gently to combine.
    Divide cucumber mixture and fritters among bowls. Spoon yogurt sauce alongside and serve with lemon wedges.


Salmon Burgers With Pickled Cucumbers

1-1/2 pounds boneless, skinless center-cut salmon, patted dry
5 scallions, green parts finely chopped, white parts thinly sliced
1 1-inch piece ginger, peeled, finely grated
1 garlic clove, finely grated
2 tablespoons plus 2/3 cup mayonnaise
Kosher salt
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
4 teaspoons unseasoned rice vinegar
3 medium Persian cucumbers, shaved lengthwise
1/2 serrano chile, very thinly sliced crosswise
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup rice flour
2 cups tender herbs, such as torn mint and/or cilantro leaves with tender stems
3/4 cup trimmed watercress
2 teaspoons toasted white sesame seeds, optional
4 brioche buns, lightly toasted

    Cut salmon into two-inch pieces. Transfer one-third of the salmon to a food processor and process, scraping down sides, until mixture is very smooth and paste-like. Add remaining salmon and pulse four to five times, until pieces are no bigger than 1/4-inch. Transfer to a large bowl.
    Mix in scallion greens, ginger, garlic, two tablespoons mayonnaise and one teaspoon salt and toss to combine. Form into four patties about three-quarter-inch thick. Transfer to a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Chill one to three hours.
    Mix sesame oil, one teaspoon vinegar, remaining mayonnaise and a pinch of salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
    Toss cucumbers with a pinch of salt in another small bowl. Massage for a few minutes, squeezing lightly to expel water, then discard cucumber liquid. Add chile, sugar, and two teaspoons vinegar and toss to coat. Chill.
    Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until oil begins to shimmer. Remove salmon patties from refrigerator just before cooking and sprinkle with flour to coat the outside. Working in batches and adding more oil in between batches, if needed, cook patties three to four minutes per side, until golden brown.
    Toss herbs, watercress, sesame seeds, scallion whites, remaining vinegar and a pinch of salt in a medium bowl. Build burgers with buns, patties, reserved special sauce, herb mixture and pickles.


Chill-Out Honeydew Cucumber Slushy

4 cups honeydew, rind removed, flesh cut into 1-inch pieces, frozen
2-1/2 cups coconut water
1/3 cup mint leaves
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
6 ounces English hothouse cucumber, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces, plus more slices for garnish

    Blend honeydew, coconut water, mint, lime juice, salt, six ounces cucumber and two cups ice in a blender until smooth. Divide among glasses, then garnish with cucumber slices.
    Slushy can be made one hour ahead. Store in blender jar in freezer, then reblend on high speed to reincorporate.


Cucumber and Charred Onion Salad

1 Fresno chile, thinly sliced into rings, seeded, if desired
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 medium red onions, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
4 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for serving
Kosher salt
Feshly ground black pepper
1 medium English hothouse cucumber, sliced into rounds
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

    Prepare grill for medium-high heat.         Combine chile and two tablespoons vinegar in a small bowl. Set aside.
    Place onions on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with two tablespoons oil, then season with salt and pepper. Turn to coat. Grill onions two minutes per side on grill grate, until lightly charred and softened. Transfer to a large bowl and toss with remaining vinegar. Let cool.
    Coarsely chop 1/2 cup grilled onion and place in bowl. Add chile and soaking liquid, cucumber, dried oregano, and two tablespoons oil. Toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Serve drizzled with more oil.


Cold Beef Tenderloin With Tomatoes and Cucumbers

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more
1 3-1/2 to 4-pound beef tenderloin
3 tablespoons whole black peppercorns, coarsely crushed
2 tablespoons kosher salt
3 pounds heirloom tomatoes, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
6 mini seedless or Persian cucumbers, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
1 cup basil leaves
Sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar, for serving
Flaky sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
For lemony yogurt sauce:
6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, finely grated
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups plain whole-milk Greek yogurt

    To make sauce, whisk lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper into yogurt in a medium bowl to evenly distribute.
    Prepare a grill for two-zone heat. Clean and lightly oil grate.
    Rub tenderloin with 1/4 cup oil and sprinkle with peppercorns and kosher salt. Grill over hottest part of grill about five minutes, turning often, until lightly charred on all sides. Move to cooler part and continue to grill 25 to 30 minutes, turning often, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 120 degrees. Transfer to a platter and let cool.
    Just before serving, thinly slice tenderloin on a large cutting board. Arrange tomato slices, cucumber slices, and basil alongside. Drizzle tomatoes and cucumbers lightly with vinegar. Drizzle oil over everything and season liberally with sea salt and ground pepper. Serve with lemony yogurt sauce.
    Beef tenderloin can be grilled one day ahead. As soon as it is cool, wrap tightly in plastic and chill until ready to serve.




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