Cool Cucumber Recipe Ideas

Sliced, diced, pickled or pureed, cucumbers add a cooling crunch to summertime dishes. Try these ideas to take cucumbers beyond the salad.

Cucumbers are one of those special foods that have more uses than just culinary. A quick search turns up things like removing crayon drawings on walls, firming up cellulite on skin, soothing dry, tired eyes, relieving sunburn and curing a hangover. I have no idea about the validity of many of these claims, but I do know that a summer without cold cucumbers is like a winter without hot soup!

For cooking cool this summer, think beyond the salad. Cucumber’s flesh is crunchy, the seeds are edible and the uses are numerous. Adding cucumbers to soups, main dishes, beverages and smoothies will provide whole new slew of cucumber-cooling, culinary creations.

Here’s a good start:


Slicers, or salad cucumbers, are the most common type. Pickling varieties are smaller and squatter than their slicing cousins, with thicker, bumpier skins and are usually harder to find. Greenhouse cucumbers, also known as English or "burpless" cucumbers, are seedless and milder in flavor than field-grown varieties, and can be substituted for slicers in any recipe. Although slicing cucumbers are available year-round, all varieties are at their peak in summer.
Got a favorite recipe that keeps you cool as a cucumber? Let me know.

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