Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Cool as a Cucumber

Originally uploaded by love_yellow
Yes, cucumber really is cooling because of its high water content - it's not just a random saying. Cucumbers is one of the reasons why I love summer so much. I pick them straight from my garden and it's so easy to make a variety of quick and delicious dishes with them.

My husband's favorite preparation is simply to just splash rice vinegar on sliced cumbers in a bowl and add a little fresh ground pepper. Sometimes with a little sesame oil too, and occasionally a some anise seed mixed in. It's so refreshing and goes well with almost any protein, especially grilled salmon which we eat a lot of in the summer.

I appreciate the ease in which you can prepare cucumber. Just rinse and slice/cut. No salad spinners or other crazy gadgets needed to get it ready for consuming.

And of course there's the obvious... I like to cut my cucumber in large chunks and add garden tomatoes, feta, red onion and kalamata olives. I just add a little oil & vinegar and chop up marjoram, oregano or other herbs from my garden to add a little more flavor.

Just slicing them up and dipping them in hummus is a satisfying snack when I'm starving and trying to prepare dinner, rather than noshing on bread. The slices are great for adding to sandwiches as well. And adding them to an appetizer platter makes them a nice alternative to crackers, not to mention adding a nice color and texture to the overall presentation.

I look forward to enjoying the refreshing crunch of the cucumber all summer long!

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