Last summer three plants produced bushels of cucumbers, enough for batches of sweet and sour pickles, cucumber salads every night, thinly sliced on sandwiches, and plenty for friends. Not that these beauties are a nuisance. Just saying, cucumbers, there are a lot of you. By the time late summer rolls around a person might have this conversation with their garden cukes. “We love you, we’ve had a fine summer together. You’ve been polite, plentiful and prolific – except when you vined your way into the apple tree – and we’ve enjoyed your delicious company. It’s time to go dormant now. See you next summer.”
‘Next summer’ is now.
So. Three salads which are simple, fast, delicious and laden with cucumbers. The first is the way my grandmother prepared cucumbers all summer long, with sweet onions and vinegar, an Asian cucumber salad which I spotted in the New York Times last week, and finally, a link to Cucumber Raita, an awesome side dish with anything spicy, or with fish. They’re each quick to make and delicious. And if you too have an abundance of cukes, try making bread and butter pickles with a few of them. Bread & Butter (sweet & sour) Pickles
Place any of these salads on a bed of undressed greens for a complete green salad. Cuke on!
Have a look at our Summer Salads digital cookbook for more salad ideas and dressings.
Cucumbers & Walla Walla Sweet Onions Recipe
Ingredients & Directions: Partially peel and then slice one or two medium-sized cucumbers/ Thinly slice all or part of a sweet onion/ Sprinkle with 1/4 – 1/2 C rice wine or apple cider vinegar, or to taste/ 1/2 – 1 t sugar optional/ Salt & pepper/ Toss, chill for a few minutes and serve/ These are good the next day, but best consumed, same day.
Cucumber Salad With Asian Flavors Recipe
Serves 4 and is best eaten the day it’s prepared. From New York Times Healthy Recipes.
Ingredients: 2 thin-skinned cucumbers (about 1 1/2 pounds), sliced thin/ Salt to taste/3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar/1 tablespoon soy sauce/ 1 teaspoon sugar/ 1 small garlic clove, minced or pureed/ 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger/ 1/8 teaspoon cayenne (more to taste)/ Freshly ground pepper/2 tablespoons dark sesame oil/ 3 tablespoons sunflower oil or grapeseed oil (or peanut oil)/ 1 bunch scallions, white and light green parts, sliced very thin/ 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro.
Directions: Sprinkle the cucumbers with a generous amount of salt and let sit in a colander in the sink for 15 minutes. Rinse thoroughly and dry on a kitchen towel. Transfer to a salad bowl. Whisk together the vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, garlic, ginger, cayenne, and pepper. Whisk in the sesame oil and the sunflower or grapeseed oil. Toss with cucumbers, scallions, and cilantro or parsley. Chill until ready to serve.
Delicious as is or *this salad can be expanded to make a meal. Make extra dressing and serve cucumbers on a bed of very finely sliced cabbage and red pepper, more scallions, rice noodles, shredded chicken, chopped cashews on the side. Instant meal.