Hot weather is a smart time to remember all the charms of cucumbers. Among the most hydrating foods you can eat, they’re booming in popularity. People are eating them sliced, smashed, pickled, in cocktails, and even in cucumber zoodles. Here are a few cooling ways to eat more of this delicious fruit from the gourd family.
Cucumber loves silky, pale spirits such as gin and vodka. Here it shines when you give it a good shake with lime juice, agave, and mint. (Those are three other ingredients it adores, so play around with them using other spirits such as tequila.)
When the dog days of summer strike, few things will look more charming than your slow cooker and pressure cooker. We’re grateful for recipes like this one, in which salmon poaches in a pressure cooker in about an hour. Top it with yogurt mixed with cucumber and dill, and marvel at just how gorgeous the flavors are together.
If you don’t yet have a mandoline, this recipe might just tempt you to buy one. The tool makes quick work of this lovely, super-simple cucumber salad. Mint and dill add brightness, red onion adds crunch and crispness, and the whole thing comes together in a snap.
4. Cucumber Gazpacho
Cucumber is excellent in all sorts of cold soups, and cucumber gazpacho is as simple as combining pantry staples with fresh cukes. In a blender, puree peeled and seeded English cucumber, garlic, red onion, avocado, olive oil, lime juice and cilantro. Thin with vegetable stock as desired and season with salt and pepper. It’s that easy.
Obsessed with pickles but think you’ll never have enough time to make your own? These involve five minutes of hands-on time and are ready in an hour. They’re delicious, packed with dill and mustard seeds, and so simple the kids can even get involved to help.
7. Cucumbers with Lemon, Salt and Hot Pepper Flakes
If you still can’t get enough, maybe it’s time to buy a whole cookbook devoted to cucumbers. This one is cukes, soup to nuts, and includes a dreamily easy hot-weather non-recipe: Sprinkle sliced cucumbers with flaky salt, red pepper flakes, and the juice of half a lemon or lime. If you like, crush peanuts to sprinkle on top for protein. Cooling, spicy, salty, and hydrating, it’s just what you want in the summer.