Cool as a cucumber

Cooking with Cathie

Cathie CampbellSeptember 12, 2012 

Someone recently posted a picture online, showing cucumbers growing in their home garden. Most people grow tomatoes -- mostly because the ones in the stores are practically tasteless -- but not a lot of people plant cukes.

My dad and grandfather always had gardens and they included lemon cucumbers, which they peeled with pocket knives and ate while tending to those gardens. I think they had a salt shaker, too.

This time of year is perfect for enjoying crisp cucumber salads, so here are a few suggestions for preparing them. It is your choice whether or not to peel them. My preference is to peel.

Hope your summer is good so far.


Marinated cucumbers

  • 6 medium cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 cup vinegar (I would suggest cider or white)
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (or your favorite vegetable oil)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or granules
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard (dry)
  1. In a bowl, combine cucumbers and onion.
  2. In a jar with tight-fitting lid, combine remaining ingredients; shake well.
  3. Pour over cucumber mixture and stir to coat well. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours. Serve when thoroughly chilled. Makes about 12 servings.

Cucumber sour cream salad

  • 2 cucumbers, very thinly sliced
  • 1 small red onion, very thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar or equal amount lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons low-fat sour cream or equal amount plain yogurt
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill
  1. In a bowl, mix cucumbers and onion together.
  2. Combine remaining ingredients together in a jar with tight-fitting lid; shake to mix well.
  3. Mix with cucumbers and onion and chill several hours before serving. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Japanese cucumber salad

  • 2 medium cucumbers or 1 large English cucumber (sometimes sold by other names)
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  1. Peel cucumbers to leave alternating green stripes. Slice the cucumbers in half lengthwise; scrape the seeds out with a spoon. Using a food processor or sharp knife, cut into very thin slices. Place in a double layer of paper towel and squeeze gently to remove any excess moisture.
  2. Combine vinegar, sugar and salt in a medium bowl, stirring to dissolve. Add the cucumbers and sesame seeds; toss well to combine. Serve immediately. Makes about 4 cups.

Black bean, avocado, cucumber and tomato salad

You could add some corn kernels to this recipe if you wish, and perhaps some diced red bell pepper.

  • 1 cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 2 medium ripe tomatoes, diced
  • 2 Haas avocados, diced
  • 1 can (15.5-oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons red onion, minced
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, minced
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • Salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
  1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients, mixing well.
  2. Cover and chill thoroughly before serving. Makes about 5 cups.

Shrimp and cucumber salad, Cajun style

  • 8 ounces (about 20 shrimp) large, uncooked peeled shrimp
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun (or Creole) seasoning (such as Tony Chachere's), divided
  • 1 tablespoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice (or white or white wine vinegar)
  • 1 whole English cucumber, sliced thinly
  • 2 tablespoons white (or red) wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided (optional)
  • 1/4 cup prepared pico de gallo (fresh salsa)
  • Salt and freshly-ground pepper, to taste
  1. Preheat broiler. Place shrimp on a small rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning, 1 tablespoon lemon juice (or vinegar), 1 tablespoon oil (if using) and a pinch or two of salt and pepper. Broil for 3 to 5 minutes until shrimp are completely opaque and pink.
  2. Meanwhile, place cucumber slices in a bowl and toss with remaining 1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning, 2 tablespoons vinegar, 2 tablespoons olive oil (if using), and salt and pepper to taste. Divide cucumbers between two bowls, top each with half of the shrimp and a couple spoonfuls of pico de gallo. Makes 2 servings.

The Sierra Star is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service