My favorite thing about summer is the garden. I love planting everything, caring for it, watching it thrive, and reaping its mass amounts of delicious food. This year we’ve planted so many things, watermelons, red onions, kale, jalapenos, habaneros, thyme, rosemary, stevia, parsley and cucumbers. Out of all the plants the one that is the easiest to succeed with is definitely cucumbers! We only planted two plants this year and have found ourselves with 20 cucumbers that we could pickle if we were willing to dedicate the time to it. Only thing is, my husband and I are both very busy and just can’t swing it. To help with this dilemma, I have challenged myself to make the cucumber interesting. I love cucumbers but I find myself doing what is rather conventional. The “let's just put them in a salad with all the other vegetables” method. I find this kind of unfortunate because cucumbers are not only delicious, but they’re super refreshing. They are accepting of any flavor thrown at them and can make a summer dish that will shine!
I channeled two regions for my recipes, Middle East and East Asia. Since I’m Lebanese i gravitate to what’s in my spice cabinet every time. The flavor I went for with the first recipe I really identify with and understand so It was a real easy choice for me. As for the other recipe, I have a major love for East Asian cooking. I find it is overall super healthy, extremely tasty, and doesn’t leave me feeling like I could die after eating a lot of it. Also, there is a lot of love and care put into the food that you can see just by the presentation. I felt inspired as usual and went for it!
Let’s start with recipe number one:
2 Cucumbers (no need to be picky on the type, all cucumbers are good cucumbers!)
1 Red Onion
1 Pint of Cherry or Grape Tomatoes
4 Cloves of Garlic
2 Lemons juiced
3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil or Grapeseed Oil
2 Teaspoons of Crushed mint
¼ Teaspoon of salt
Minced Parsley (⅛ of a typical bunch)
To start, chop the cucumber into manageable pieces and set aside. Halve the Tomatoes, dice the red onion and add it to the bowl. I added minced parsley because i had some left from the garden I needed to use. If you don’t have parsley no worries just skip that step. Sprinkle the Crushed mint on top of the veggies and move onto the dressing.
Peel the four cloves of garlic and place in your mortar and pestle. If you don’t have one i suppose you could put the cloves in your food processor as well. If you do, put the salt in with the garlic, this will give you some grip so that when you start mashing, the garlic slip out of the bowl. Juice the lemons and combine with your choice of oil and add the garlic to it.
Take your combined dressing, pour it over the vegetables and mix. Once this is complete simply put it in the fridge to chill until you’re ready to eat it.
Personally I recommend making a sandwich with hummus on pita and adding this salad in. it’s a super simple and healthy lunch or dinner!
Onto the next:
2 teaspoons of sesame seeds (set aside some for garnish)
1 teaspoon of pepper flakes (and a sprinkle for garnish)
1 teaspoon Soy Sauce or Tamari (Gluten Free Soy Sauce)
3 Tablespoons Rice Wine Vinegar
1 Tablespoon Sugar
This time we’ve changed it up a bit! Thinly slice your cucumber (I used a mandolin slicer) and place in a bowl, add the rice wine vinegar, sugar, soy sauce/tamari, and pepper flakes. Mix everything together and chill it in the fridge, When you’re ready to eat, plate your dish and garnish with more red pepper flakes and sesame seeds.
I hope you’ll enjoy these recipe as much as I have! Feel free to let us know of any other interesting cucumber recipes by going to our facebook page or contact us straight through the website! I’d love to hear from you!