Hey, What’s Cookin’?
This is prime farmer’s market season, and there’s still lots of super fresh vegetables to be had, such as cucumbers. Cucumbers are much like tomatoes in that the waxed supermarket version is vastly inferior in flavor compared to the ones that you can buy at the farm stand. The difference in taste is huge!
While always treated as a vegetable, cucumbers are actually a fruit, and are members of the plant family Cucurbitaceae, which also includes squashes and melons. They are naturally low in calories and consist of over 90% water, making them a tasty source of hydration all on their own. They also add a light but delicious flavor when sliced and added to water. Cucumbers are great source of vitamin K and lots of trace minerals, such as copper, potassium, manganese, phosphorus, and magnesium. As with most thin-skinned fruits and vegetables, much of the vitamin/mineral content lies in the peel and the flesh just below the peel. To keep your cucumbers as nutritious as possible, leave the peels on.
While technically a fruit, cucumbers are especially good served lightly pickled, as in the following salad. Don’t use supermarket cucumbers for this recipe unless you use organic cucumbers or English cucumbers, both of which are unwaxed.
Danish Pickled Cucumbers
Adapted from a Food.com recipe
- 2 medium UNWAXED cucumbers, peels left on and thinly sliced (you can also use 1 English cucumber)
- 1/3 cup Bragg’s apple cider vinegar
- 1/3 cup water
- stevia or monkfruit; an amount equivalent to 2 tbs white sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- 1 tbs minced fresh dill weed OR 1 tbs minced fresh parsley
- Place cucumbers in a non-metal bowl. Mix vinegar, water, sugar, salt and pepper; pour over cucumbers.
- Cover and refrigerate, stirring occasionally, at least 3 hours.
- Just before serving, sprinkle the dish with dill weed OR parsley and stir.
- Serve using a slotted spoon.
- To add a delicious twist to the cucumbers, add 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion before refrigeration.
- If you absolutely cannot obtain fresh dill weed, you may substitute 1 teaspoon dried dill.
- To add a decorative touch, score the peels of the cucumbers by running a fork vertically down the length of the cucumber, all around it, to create lines. Or use a vegetable peeler to create similar but broader lines, as shown in the accompanying photo.
Photo from food.com