VegBox Recipes

Cucumber

Cucumber Cucumbers don't usually require any special treatment. However, they do lose water once cut. So if you're serving them with a sauce or dressing and plan to store the dish for a while before serving, your sauce / dressing could get very runny.

In Season?
July to October
Buy?
Look for firm and vibrantly green cucumbers, and check there are no mushy spots. Buy whole, not halves, with firm, plump skin.
Store?
Up to one week, in the salad compartment of the fridge – we suggest wrapping them in a paper bag, rather than leaving them uncovered
Freeze?
Never! “Cukes” are 90% water … it would be a cucumber ice lolly at the other end…
Cook?
Rarely would anyone think to cook a cucumber, although it has been known … have a look at the “What to do with…” section

More Cucumber Information

Cucumbers have been cultivated for over 3000 years. Despite the fact that cucumbers are over 90% water, my Grannie was allergic to them!

Something in the skin brought her out in a rash. It could have been the chemical cucubitacin, which is also said to be responsible for the bitterness in the skin.



Cucumbers don't usually require any special treatment. However, they do lose water once cut. So if you're serving them with a sauce or dressing and plan to store the dish for a while before serving, your sauce / dressing could get very runny.

One solution is to draw out the water from a cucumber , before adding the sauce.

The chemical cucubitacin is thought to be responsible for the bitterness in the skin, and another infamous cucumber obstacle is their "burping potential". Lots of people find they get "burpy" after eating cucumber. But the good news is that there are now "burpless" varieties out there!

What To Do With Cucumber

If you're going to make a recipe like Tsatsiki - which needs to marinade - the dressing will get very watery, unless you draw out the excess liquid first:

Drawing Out The Water Cut the cucumber as required by the recipe, e.g. diced, sliced, grated. Put the cucumber into a colander or sieve and sprinkle it with salt.

Put a bowl / dish / plate on top of the cucumber and weigh it down, so it pushes the cucumber towards the holes in the sieve / colander.

(Note: cans of food are useful for this) Leave for about half an hour.

You might want to stir the cucumber part way through, to get out more liquid.

Continue with your recipe, after washing off the salt and squeezing, to drain the water.

Hot Cucumbers!
If you are ready to experiment with using cucumber in hot meals, try dipping cucumber slices in batter and frying them, or stuffing and baking them! One idea for using cucumbers alongside a hot dish is to mix shredded cucumber with dill and low fat sour cream to go with wild salmon.

An email has been doing the rounds for years listing 'Amazing Cucumber' facts, attributed to a New York Times article that can't be traced. In the article, the following claims are made.

What do you think? True or False?

1. Cucumbers are a good source of B Vitamins and Carbohydrates that can provide that quick pick-me-up that can last for hours.
2. Rubbing a cucumber slice along bathroom mirrors eliminates fogging.
3. Placing a few slices of cucumber in a small pie tin will leave your garden free of pests because the chemicals in the cucumber react with the aluminum to give off a scent undetectable to humans but drive garden pests crazy.
4. Rubbing a slice or two of cucumber along problem cellulite areas for a few minutes causes the collagen in your skin to tighten, firming up the outer layer and reducing the visibility of cellulite.
5. If you drink too much, eat a few cucumber slices before going to bed and wake up refreshed and headache free.
6. Rubbing a freshly cut cucumber over your shoes provides a quick and durable shine that not only looks great but also repels water. And our favourite:
7. Rubbing a cucumber slice along a squeaky hinge will stop the squeaking.

!!

Little Known Cucumber Facts

  • Cucumbers have been cultivated since around 8,000BC, making them one of the oldest vegetables to be deliberately cultivated.


  • We have read that the outside of a cucumber can be up to 20ºF warmer than the inside! Perhaps that’s where the expression comes from – as cool as a cucumber…


  • We recently did a blog on cucumbers making you burp. The general consensus was that they do – for many people. You can get a variety called “Japanese Burpless” (bumpy skin) which helps a bit. But if that’s not available, why not visit the blog and see what others were advising!


Cucumber And Feta Salad
A simple and delicious recipe for cucumbers. The combination of flavours brigtens up a summer lunch.
Ingredients
Serves 4
2 cucumbers (medium or large)
100g Feta cheese
100g black olives, pitted (stones removed)
1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon natural yoghurt 50g sunflower seeds, toasted (optional)

Method
  1. Wash the cucumber. Trim the ends. Cut the cucumber into cubes (about 1cm / ½ inch in size)


  2. Put in a bowl with the chopped mint and the yoghurt. Mix well.


  3. Add the olives. Crumble the Feta on top - mix well.


  4. Serve sprinkled with the sunflower seeds.



Cupboard-To-Table

10 mins

Suggested Cucumber Recipes

Beetroot Jelly

This recipe was sent into us by Carole L, who says

"Beetroot Jelly was created as a posh picnic accompaniment when a group of us used to go every summer to the outdoor theatre at Hever Castle. One of us would take a whole cooked salmon whilst the other eleven had to produce an unusual side dish!"

We're really excited to add this recipe to our listings, Carole, so thanks so much for sending it in. If any of you lovely cooks out there have a go at this, do send us a photo and your comments.

Cucumber And Feta Salad

A simple and delicious recipe for cucumbers. The combination of flavours brigtens up a summer lunch.

Salad Soup from Fiji

This recipe was sent in to us by Sue C in Fiji. Sue says:

"'Salad Soup' might sound silly - but think 'Gazpacho'! I dreamed this up when I was put on a mostly soup diet for a while and really wanted to make the most of salad ingredients as well as mixed veggie soup.

Amounts are not given - that depends on which flavour you want to dominate - or none at all. I use plenty of onion, garlic and coriander; and prefer it quite thick. 2 tins of tomatoes make a good start, with water added to about half the depth of the veggies - they cook down, of course. A big batch freezes well in single serving containers."

Tsatsiki

Tsatsiki is delicious when prepared with fresh ingredients - and it's an easy organic recipe. Once you've experienced the flavours of home-made tsatsiki, we suspect you'll never want to go back to the supermarket version.

Vegetarian Burritos with Fresh Cucumber and Tomato Salsa

These are perfect for a more substantial lunch, sliced into bite sized pieces for party nibbles, served cold the next day in your lunch box, or at your next Mexican night with friends.

Got one? Send us your recipe!

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