Cucumbers

Recipe List:
Refrigerated Pickles
Grilled Chicken with Gazpacho
Summer Tomato, Onion, and Cucumber Salad
Chilled Cucumber-Mint Soup with yogurt or sour cream
Chilled Cucumber Soup with Dill
Spiced Raita
Watermelon and Cucumber Gazpacho
Cucumber-Lovage Sandwich with Sweet Onion
Panzanella Bread Salad
Cucumber Limeade
Homemade Gyros


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Refrigerated Pickles

Submitted by apprentice Cheryl Kastanowski

Ingredients:
7 cups thinly sliced cucumbers
2 cups sugar
1 cup sliced onions
1 cup red vinegar
1 tablespoon celery seed
1 tablespoon of canning salt

Directions:
Combine all ingredients together in a gallon jar, place in Refrigerator, will keep until gone!
Can add more slices to mixture.

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Grilled Chicken with Gazpacho

Submitted by apprentice Cheryl Kastanowski

Ingredients:
1 garlic clove, minced and mashed to a paste with 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil plus additional for brushing the chicken
2 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin, or to taste
Tabasco to taste
1 slice type white bread,, torn into pieces
2 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped fine
1/2 cup finely chopped, seeded and peeled cucumber
1/3 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh coriander or parsley
1 whole boneless chicken breast with skin
(about 1 pound), halved

Directions:
In a blender blend together the garlic paste, the vinegar, 2 tablespoons of the oil, the water, the cumin, the Tabasco, the bread, half the tomatoes and salt and pepper to taste until the mixture is smooth, transfer the mixture to a bowl, and stir in the remaining tomatoes, the cucumber, the bell pepper, the onion, and the coriander or parsley.

Brush the chicken with the additional oil, season it with salt and pepper, and grill it on a rack set 5 to 6 inches over glowing coals, or in a hot well-seasoned ridged grill pan, covered, over moderately high heat, for 5 minutes on each side, or until it is cooked through. Cut the chicken on the diagonal into 1/4-inch-thick slices and serve it with the salsa.

Yield: 2 servings

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Summer Tomato, Onion and Cucumber Salad

From Eating Well, August 2011

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper or more to taste
2 medium cucumbers
4 medium tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
1 Vidalia or other sweet onion, halved and very thinly sliced
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh herbs, such as flat-leaf parsley, chives and/or tarragon

Directions:
Whisk vinegar, oil, honey, salt and pepper in a large shallow bowl. Remove alternating stripes of peel from the cucumbers. Slice the cucumbers into thin rounds. Add the cucumber slices, tomatoes and onion to the dressing; gently toss to combine. Let stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour. Just before serving, add herbs and toss again.
 
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Chilled Cucumber-Mint Soup with yogurt or sour cream

From Farmer John’s Cookbook

Ingredients:
4-6 cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and chopped (About 4 cups)
1-2 cups water
2 cups plain yogurt (or 1 cup plain yogurt combined with 1 cup sour cream)
1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
Several mint leaves
2 Tablespoons fresh dill or 1 tsp dried
1 Tablespoon honey
1-2 teaspoons salt
2 scallions, finely chopped (about 1/3 cup)

Directions:
1. Combine the chopped cucumber, 1 cup water, yogurt, garlic, mint, dill, honey and 1 teaspoon salt in a blender or food processor. Purée the ingredients, adding more of the water until the soup is a consistency you like. Season with more salt to taste.
2. Transfer the soup to a large bowl and chill for several hours. Garnish each serving with chopped scallions.
 
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Chilled Cucumber Soup with Dill

Ingredients:
5 cucumbers
1/2 cup chopped parsley
6 scallions, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 quart buttermilk
1 pint yogurt
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions:
Peel cucumbers and cut them in half, scraping out seeds. Sprinkle the cucumbers with salt and let them stand 30 minutes. Drain excess water.

Chop the cucumbers coarsely and put the pieces in the blender along with scallions, dill, lemon juice, buttermilk, and yogurt. Blend at high speed. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Chill well before serving.

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Spiced Raita

From Farmer John’s Cookbook

“Traditionally used as a cooling complement to spicy Indian foods, raita also makes a refreshing dip or sauce for raw or cooked vegetables” (think zucchini and summer squash)

Ingredients:
3 medium cucumbers, peeled, seeds removed coarsely grated
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp coriander seeds
2 cups plain yogurt
1 medium tomato, halved, stem and seeds
removed, cut into thin strips
1 green chile pepper, stem, seeds, and membranes
removed, thinly sliced (optional)
1/2 cup finely chopped scallions
1/8 tsp ground white pepper
1 Tbs finely chopped fresh cilantro

Directions:
1. Place a large strainer over a bowl or a pot. Put the grated cucumber in the strainer; set aside to drain for 30 min.
2. Place a dry, heavy skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium heat. Add the cumin and coriander seeds and stir constantly until toasted and fragrant, 3-5 minutes, watching carefully to avoid burning them. Immediately transfer seeds to a mortar and pestle and grind (or use the back of a wooden spoon to crush).
3. Pour the yogurt into a strainer lined with several layers of cheesecloth or a coffee filter. Set it aside for 10 minutes to drain.
4. Remove the drained, grated cucumber from the strainer with your hands and gently squeeze out the excess moisture. Spread the grated cucumber on clean dish towels and pat dry.
5. In a medium bowl, gently combine the cucumber, crushed cumin and coriander seeds, yogurt, tomato, chile pepper, scallions, and white pepper. Garnish with cilantro Serve immediately or refrigerate for 1 hour.

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Watermelon and Cucumber Gazpacho

From Bon Appetit, August 2005

Ingredients:
1 watermelon, seeded and diced (about 5 cups), divided
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, diced (about 1 cup)
1 medium-size red bell pepper, seeded, diced (about 1 cup)
1 medium-size yellow bell pepper, seeded, diced (about 1 cup)
1 small jalapeño chile, seeded, minced
3 pale green inner celery stalks, diced (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 small red onion, diced (about 1 cup)
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup crème fraîche or sour cream

Directions:
Puree 4 cups watermelon in blender until smooth. Transfer puree to large bowl. Add remaining 1 cup diced watermelon and next 10 ingredients; stir to combine. Cover gazpacho and refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours.
Divide gazpacho among bowls; top with dollop of crème fraîche.
 
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Cucumber-Lovage Sandwich with Sweet Onion

From Vegetable Literacy by Deborah Madison
You can get Lovage from our U-Pick herb fields!

Directions:
Spread 2 slices of nutty, whole-grain bread with butter, cream cheese, quark, or whatever dairy appeals to you. Cover 1 slice with lovage leaves, thin unpeeled cucumber slices, and a paper-thin slice of sweet onion. Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper, then cover with the second slice of bread. Press gently then slice in half it it’s lunch or quarters if it’s an appetizer.

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Panzanella Bread Salad Recipe

From Simply Recipes

As you cut the tomatoes, remove some of the seeds and liquid. Your panzanella will be juicy enough. Leave the crusts on the bread chunks; they will stay chewier and give the panzanella more substance.

Ingredients:
4 cups tomatoes, cut into large chunks
4 cups day old (somewhat dry and hard) crusty bread (Italian or French loaf), cut into chunks the same size as the tomatoes*
1 cucumber, skinned and seeded, cut into large chunks
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 bunch fresh basil, torn into little pieces
1/4 to 1/2 cup good olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
* If you don’t have hard old bread sitting around, you can take fresh crusty bread, cut it into big cubes, lay the cubes out on a baking sheet, and put in a 300°F oven for 5-10 minutes, until the outer edges have dried out a bit (not toasted, just dried). If you use fresh bread without doing this, the bread may disintegrate into mush in the salad.

Directions:
Mix everything together and let marinate, covered, at room temperature for at least 30 minutes, up to 12 hours. Do not refrigerate or you will destroy the texture of the tomatoes.

Serve at room temperature. Yields 6-8 servings.

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Cucumber Limeade

Ingredients:
1 cup fresh lime juice (about 7 limes)
1 cup sugar
Zest of 3 limes (about 1 ½ T)
¼ cup mint leaves
1 1-liter bottle lemon/lime seltzer, chilled
1 medium cucumber, thinly sliced

Directions:
Place juice, sugar, zest, and 2 cups water in a 2-qt saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and stir until sugar is dissolved, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat, add mint leaves, and let sit for 30 minutes. Pour through a fine strainer into a 1-qt. pitcher, stir in cucumber slices, and chill. Add entire bottle of seltzer to pitcher and serve immediately over ice.

Makes one quart.

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Homemade Gyros
Recipe from Culinary Hill

Ingredients:
1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and finely chopped
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon), divided
1 tbsp. fresh dill, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
salt and freshly ground black pepper
6-6 inch pita breads
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 tbsp. fresh oregano leaves, chopped
1 lb. lean (90/10) ground beef (or lamb)
1 tbsp. olive oil
optional garnishes such as tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet onion and feta cheese

Directions:
Combine yogurt, cucumber, 1 tbsp. lemon juice, dill, 1 garlic clove and 1/2 tsp. salt in a small bowl to make the dill sauce. Chill at least 30 minutes to blend flavors. Preheat oven to 350º. Cut the top quarter of each pita and tear these into pieces and set aside. Wrap pitas in a stack in foil. Place the pitas wrapped in foil in the oven and heat for 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, combine torn pita pieces, onion, remaining 1 tbsp. lemon juice, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper, oregano and remaining garlic in a food processor. Process until a smooth paste forms, about 30 sections. Transfer to a large bowl. Add beef to the paste and mix until thoroughly combined with hands or a spatula. Turn beef mixture out onto a cutting board. Form into a uniform loaf and cut into 12 sections. Roll each section into a ball and flatten into a patty about 1/2″ thick. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add patties and cook until well browned and a dark crust forms on one side, 3-4 minutes. Flip the patties and cook until the second side is also well-browned. Drain on paper towels. Serve with warmed pitas, dill sauce and optional toppings if desired such as shredded lettuce, sliced cucumbers, sliced tomatoes, sliced sweet onion, Kalamata olives or feta cheese.

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