Posts Tagged ‘cucumbers’

Gazpacho (cold tomato soup)

This recipe is modified from the cookbook “A Midwest Gardener’s Cookbook” by Marian Towne.  The recipe can be altered to suite your taste or depending on what vegetables you actually have on hand.

1 large cucumber (peeled and seeded if very mature)
1 medium sweet onion
1-2 cloves garlic, chopped (optional)
1 hot pepper, such as jalapeño, with seeds removed
6 large ripe tomatoes
1 TBS olive oil
1/2 tsp salt

Blend together all ingredients for 2 or 3 minutes, making sure that the garlic and pepper, especially, are well blended.  Chill in refrigerator.  Serve over several ice cubes (optional) in a bowl and garnish with crisp, seasoned croutons (also optional).

Serves 6

Feta-Walnut-Stuffed Cucumbers

This is adapted from a recipe in The Vegetable Dishes I Can’t Do without by Mollie Katzen (Hyperion Press).  The author recommends serving for lunch, with soup, or as an appetizer or side dish for dinner.

1 cup walnuts
1 handful fresh parsley
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp minced or crushed garlic
1 tsp mild paprika (plus extra)
1/8 tsp cayenne
3 or 4 medium sized cucumbers

1. Combine the walnuts and parsely in a blend or food processor and pulverize to a powdery state with a series of pulses.

2. Add all the remaining ingredients except the cucumbers and puree until smooth.

3. Peel the cucumbers, if desired, and cut them in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scrape out the seeds, making a cavity in the cucumbers.  Fill the cavities with the feta-walnut mixture, patting it into place with a fork or spoon (or your hands).  Use more or less filling for each, depending on the size of the cucumbers and how full you would like them.

4. Dust the tops lightly with a little extra paprika and serve cold or at room temperature.  If you would like to serve them cold, place the filled cucumbers on a plate, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for up to 4 hours before serving.  Don’t let them sit too much longer than that.

Yield: Serves four.

Iranian Tomato and Cucumber Salad

This is adapted from a recipe in the Iranian cookbook “New Food of Life,” by Najmieh Batmanglij, via the New York Times (Aug 9 2010).  The salad emphasizes fresh herbs, tomatoes and cucumbers.

2 cucumbers, or 1 long Asian cucumber (long and ridged)

1 pound ripe tomatoes

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Salt to taste

1 garlic clove, mashed to a puree with 1/4 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground pepper

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 scallions, chopped

1 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

1/4 cup chopped fresh mint

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1. If using non-bitter cucumbers (like an Asian or European cucumber), cut in 3/4-inch dice. If using regular cucumbers, cut in half lengthwise and use a small spoon to scrape out the seeds and discard. Cut the cucumbers into 3/4-inch dice. Place in a large bowl with the tomatoes.

2. Whisk together the lime juice, garlic, pepper and olive oil. Toss with the cucumbers and tomatoes. Add the remaining ingredients, and toss everything together thoroughly. Taste, adjust seasonings and serve.

Yield: Serves four.

Advance preparation: You can make this a couple of hours ahead, but don’t salt or toss until you s

Refrigerator Bread and Butter Pickles

This is a classic recipe for “Bread and Butter” pickles. They should stay crisp the refrigerator for at least one month. The recipe is by Arlene Stiller, from the “Minnehaha United Methodist Women’s Savoury Culinary Secrets” cookbook. My mother-in-law Jan Hougen makes this recipe often and it is delightful – she prefers the long Asian cucumbers for this recipe, though any cucumbers will work fine. D H.E.

1 qt. sliced cucumbers
¾ cup sugar
¾ cup vinegar
4 tsp canning salt (non-iodized)
1 small onion, sliced thinly
¼ tsp tumeric
¼ tsp mustard seed
¼ tsp celery seed

Stir the sugar and vinegar and spices together. Pour over the sliced cucumbers and place in refrigerator in a covered container.

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