By Chef Selwyn Richards
You planted several cucumber plants so you could enjoy them in salads and possibly make a few cans of pickles. But now you have more cucumbers than you think you’ll need. What do you do about it? How do you go about making use of excess cucumbers, if you don’t want to pickle them all?
Salsa made with cucumbers, tomatoes, hot peppers and corn is really good over Mexican dishes. You can find a variety of recipes for salsas using cucumbers, in cookbooks, on the internet and in food magazines.
Make a sauce using shredded cucumbers. Add the shredded cucumbers to unflavored yogurt and spices. This is a great sauce for wraps and traditional sandwiches.
Try cucumber juice. Cucumber juice isn’t your normal, everyday type of beverage, but it could be a great change of pace. You can drink it over ice or add it to other beverages. The next time you prepare smoothies, pour in a little cucumber juice to add extra vitamins.
Add diced cucumbers to stir fry. They remain somewhat crispy when warmed but also are smooth within your mouth.
How about using cucumbers in soup? Puree the cucumbers to make gazpacho. You can add other vegetables – diced tomatoes, fresh corn or anything else you have on-hand – to change the taste of the soup. Look in cookbooks or on the internet to find other gazpacho recipes using cucumbers.
Rediscover cucumber sandwiches. In the past, cucumber sandwiches were served at baby showers, bridal showers or afternoon tea. These sandwiches are made with cream cheese, sour cream, chives and cucumber slices on bread. You can cut off the crust and slice them in quarters.
Create a type of raw pickle. Peel and thinly slice the cucumbers. Do the same with a small onion. Add 1/4 cup vinegar, 1/4 cup water, 2 teaspoons sugar, dash of salt and pepper. Allow this to marinate for at least an hour before eating.
If you simply can’t stand to eat another cucumber because you have so many of them becoming ripe at the same time, it is helpful to know that you can use sliced cucumbers to help reduce swelling around your eyes.
You can use any of the above ways to make use of excess cucumbers, and, you can also share them with your neighbors, friends or co-workers.
Selwyn Richards is an award-winning master chef. He is also the President and Executive Chef at The Art of Catering Inc. and is the author of “The Art of Cooking: Soul of The Caribbean”. Chef Selwyn can be reached at: email@example.com or by phone — (905) 619-1059.