Saturday, 14 April 2012

What to do with Cucumbers

Cucumbers Cucumbers Cucumbers!
There are cucumbers everywhere here at Monarch Place.  Who would have thought that 4 little plants could produce so many fruit.



I had to set about finding things to do with them as cucumbers don't last a long time even when refrigerated so here are some of the ways I have been using them.

Salad often served in the Middle East
We ate the salad in the photo above many times while out to dinner when we lived in the Middle East.  It was most often served at Turkish restaurants.  The recipe below I created from memory and it tasted pretty good.

Cucumber and Tomato Salad
Ingredients
2 tomatoes diced
2 cucumbers diced
small amount of lettuce or parsley cut finely (I've used both)

Dressing
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Drizzle of Olive Oil

Method
Mix together all the vegetables in a bowl.  Combine lemon juice and olive oil and mix into the salad.



Home made Tzatziki Dip

I love Tzatziki dip but had never made it from scratch.  I googled some recipes and found this one that worked beautifully.  It was devoured within minutes on our family Easter picnic.  

Tzatziki Dip
Ingredients
2 Cucumbers with seeds removed
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups Greek Yoghurt
2 - 3 cloves garlic
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp ground cumin
Freshly ground black pepper

Method
Half the cucumbers and scoop the seeds out with a spoon and discard.  Grate the cucumber on the course side of a grater, place in a small bowl and sprinkle with the salt.  Mix together and leave while you prepare the other ingredients.

Combine the other ingredients in a large bowl and mix gently.  Take the cucumbers and lightly squeeze the moisture out of them with your hands.  Add to the yoghurt mix and stir well.

Seeding the cucumbers
 I wanted to know if I could make Tzatziki and freeze it so that I could save it for another time but after quite an extensive search all I could fine was that a lot of other people also wanted to know the same thing but no-one really had the answers.  So I experimented and froze some of my mix for a couple of days and then defrosted it.

Freezing the Tzatziki
It seems to be almost the same as it was originally with 2 slight differences.   First it is a bit thinner than before it was frozen.  Not so much that you can't eat it but if it was a bother you could leave it to drain for awhile before serving.  The other difference is that the garlic taste is stronger.  I think I would cut the recipe back to just 2 cloves of garlic.
Defrosted Tzatziki

I also used some cucumbers to dip in the Tzatziki.  I just seeded them, as above, and cut into strips along with some carrots.
Cut vegetables to dip into the Tzatziki Dip
Tomato and cucumber slices on crackers for lunch are yummy, healthy and quick to prepare.  I can see there will be a lot more lunches like this in my future.  Add some cheese for variety.
Tomato and Cucumbers on crackers
And finally I have added to my pantry stockpile.  My daughter and I preserved some by making Bread and Butter Cucumber Pickles as per my post on Thursday this week.

What ways do you use cucumbers.  I'm going to need some more ideas as there are plenty of small fruit on the vines.

Chez

3 comments:

  1. Yumm! Makes me dream a few months forward when I'll have homegrown cucumbers and tomatoes :-)
    Have you tried the spanish cold "soup" from these two, I think it is called gazpacho, so good on a hot day.

    ReplyDelete
  2. My cucumber plants are growing daily and I planted probably more than I should have - hoping for a good crop this year.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I picked another 10 and took them into work for others to enjoy. This weekend I'll be picking another basket full and will make more Tzatziki dip from some of those as my kids eat it almost as fast as I can produce it.

    ReplyDelete

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