10+ Ways To Deal With A Ton Of Cucumbers

We took the plunge and planted our first real in-the-ground garden this spring. Excuse me as I gush over how cool it has been to plant seeds, tend to their needs, and harvest their fruit. I don’t think any of us expected things to go as well as they have. It’s entirely possible that a gang of raccoons is circling at this very moment and plotting an invasion, but for the moment we are blissfully enjoying our gardening honeymoon.

The other day my 8-year-old had a moment. She looked over at me while eating veggies and dip and said, “It just hit me Mom. We are actually feeding ourselves.”

When it comes to cucumbers, indeed we are…

We are growing pickling cukes and slicing cukes. I’m already hatching plans for a few more varieties next year. Are Perisan cukes better than American slicing cukes? What about English? We’ll have to grow them all now and find out.

Anyway, back to the problem at hand…

I’ve already made a couple batches of dill pickles but the plants are showing no signs of waning. Rather, I’m a wee bit afraid of what they have in store for me. Come to my house this winter if you like pickles.

Pickling cukes are easy. I know what to do with those (even if it can be a lot of work). But slicing cukes have been demanding more and more attention lately so I decided to make a list of all the ways I’d like my family to eat them up:

1. Cucumber Snack Salad is a family favorite. And don’t forget Cucumber Sandwiches. And Cucumber Yogurt Cups.

2. And Tzatziki too!

3. Dill Cucumber Corn Salad is delightful.

4. I made a pretty killer cucumber soup (recipe from the WSJ, scroll down) the other night.

5. Check out this Cucumber Salad with Mint and Feta from Simply Recipes. And this Bread Salad is so happening once the tomatoes come in. Oh and this White Gazpacho too!

6. If buttermilk dressing is more your thing, check out this Cucumber Ribbon Salad from The Perfect Pantry.

7. If you’re having a party, try some Cucumber Bites with Garlic Herb Filling.

8. Looking for a perfect starter for a meal? Look no further: Cucumber Salad Recipes from Eating Out Loud.

9. Just when you thought things couldn’t get any better, this recipe uses up zucchini as well as cucumber and looks scrumptious: Cucumber and Zucchini Carpaccio Salad from White on Rice.

10. When all else fails, peel a fresh cuke and cut it into wedges. Sprinkle on some fine salt and eat it immediately. Yum.

 

Any other suggestions are more than welcome. I’m gonna need all the help I can get. Thanks.

Cucumber Snack Salad

I love this zippy little summer salad when I have a little extra time in the afternoon. It gives us a break from the usual carrot sticks. If you don’t have champagne vinegar, you can try lemon juice. Champagne vinegar is also lovely with strawberries or on salads containing fruit. (A cucumber technically is a fruit, right?)

This recipe is adapted from a recipe in Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.

1 medium fresh-picked cucumber, peeled
A generous pinch of fine salt
Pinch ground white pepper
1 – 2 tablespoons of champagne vinegar
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh dill (optional)

Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds with a spoon and discard. Slice the cucumber thinly and transfer to a bowl. Sprinkle on the salt, pepper, vinegar, olive oil, and dill. Mix with your hand or serve as is.

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Cucumber Sandwiches

I haven’t actually tasted one of these. My kids will not share! Selfish little monkeys! But I guess that is that best indicator of all that they are a kid-friendly snack. We’ve got a thing for cucumbers dosed in vinegar at our house though. I imagine it’s not a such a thrill for most families. Still, you never know…

The recipe is adapted from one I found in The New York Times Cookbook. I think proper finger sandwiches are supposed to be wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated for a while, but I opted not to.

1/4 – 1/3 of a medium cucumber (preferably European Greenhouse), peeled and sliced
White vinegar
Salt and Pepper
4 slices of whole grain bread
Butter for spreading

Place the cucumbers in a small bowl, pour over enough white vinegar so that they are well coated. A bit of extra vinegar at the bottom of the bowl is fine. Sprinkle on a little bit of salt and pepper to taste and stir to coat. Allow the cucumbers to sit for five or ten minutes.

Prepare the bread slices by spreading on a thin layer of butter to coat one side of each slice. Shake any excess vinegar off of the cucumber slices and arrange them on two of the bread slices, overlapping slightly or in two layers. Top with another slice of bread. Cut off the crusts. Cut into quarters, preferably triangles, and serve.

Yield: 8 finger sandwiches 
Prep-time: 5 – 10 minutes

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