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In the Kitchen: What can you make with cucumbers?
Cucumber

My garden runneth over with cucumbers right now … but I am not complaining. 

I love munching on fresh, crunchy cucumbers with just a sprinkling of sea salt. 

I also love experimenting with cucumbers to see how many ways I can use them in different recipes. 

If you have a big harvest, or just purchase a bunch from the farmers market, here are some yummy recipes that don’t require canning skills. Enjoy!

 

Creamy cucumber salad

6 cups cucumbers, sliced or chopped (preferably seedless)

1/2 cup sour cream

2 tablespoons fresh dill, minced

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/2 cup Vidalia onion, minced

 

About 30 minutes before serving, combine all ingredients.

 •    •    •

Cucumber avocado salad

 2 avocados, peeled and diced

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 cucumber, peeled and chopped

2 tablespoons red onion, minced

1/2 cup fresh dill, minced

Dressing:

1 tablespoon sugar

1 ½ tablespoons red wine vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil

Pinch salt and pepper

 

In a bowl, toss together avocados, lemon juice, cucumber, red onion and dill. In a small bowl, whisk together sugar, red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss avocado/cucumber salad with dressing.

 •    •    •

Shrimp and cucumber fry

1/4 cup sesame oil

1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined

5 teaspoons soy sauce

2 cups cucumbers, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons parsley, minced

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon ginger, peeled and grated

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 clove garlic, minced

 

Heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium high heat. Add shrimp and cook 3 minutes per side. Remove with slotted spoon to plate and loosely cover. Wipe out skillet and add remaining oil. 

Add ginger and garlic and cook a minute. Stir in soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey, crushed red pepper and a pinch of salt. Remove from heat. Toss soy mixture with shrimp. 

Meanwhile, place cucumbers in a plastic ziploc bag and smash them a bit with a rolling pin or canned good. Toss smashed cucumbers with soy mixture and serve with rice or in lettuce wraps.

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I love gyros. This recipe for a chicken gyro mimics the lamb kind and comes together in minutes.


Chicken gyros with tzatziki sauce

 1 pound chicken thighs, sliced

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1/4 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

 

Mix together onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, cumin, salt and pepper. Toss chicken slices with olive oil. Add spice mixture and toss to combine. Either grill chicken or sear in a cast iron skillet until cooked through. Serve with tzatziki sauce, feta, cucumbers, tomatoes, onion and pita bread.

 

Tzatziki sauce

3 cucumbers, preferably seedless

1 teaspoon salt

1 ½ cups Greek yogurt

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 clove garlic, finely minced

1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, minced

 

Chop cucumbers and place in a colander in the sink. Toss cucumbers with salt and drain for 30 minutes. In a bowl, combine drained cucumbers, yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and mint leaves.

 •    •    •

Pesto rotisserie chicken salad

Pesto:

2 cups baby spinach

1 cup parsley

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons toasted almonds

2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/2 cup olive oil

 

Salad:

4 cups rotisserie chicken, shredded

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 ½ cups cucumber, peeled and chopped

4 cups baby greens or arugula

 

In a blender, add baby spinach, parsley, lemon juice, almonds, Parmesan, garlic, salt and pepper and pulse to combine. With machine running, slowly add olive oil until completely combined. In a large bowl, combine rotisserie chicken, chickpeas, and cucumbers. 

Pour on pesto and toss to combine. Divide greens onto four plates and top with chicken salad.

 •    •    •

Cucumber, feta and almond salad

4 cups Romaine lettuce, torn into bite sized pieces

2 ½ cups cucumbers, peeled and chopped

1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds

1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled

2 tablespoons fresh dill, minced

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

 

In a large bowl, toss together lettuce, cucumbers, almonds, feta, and dill. In a small jar, add olive oil, white wine vinegar, Dijon, salt and pepper, shaking to combine. Pour dressing over salad and toss to combine.