From the Garden: Why Everyone Should Grow Cucumbers

From the Garden: Why Everyone Should Grow Cucumbers

Summer just isn’t the same without fresh vegetables growing in my backyard. I know gardening isn’t for everyone, but it could be! I really believe there is a level, or amount, that most people can handle. And more importantly enjoy. A small pot of herbs, or a large scale plot garden and everywhere in-between; growing something you can then eat is simply… rewarding.

I always grow cucumbers. I find them to be a relatively low maintenance plant with a high yield. That to me is a win-win situations.

My first year of gardening I was literally overwhelmed with cucumbers. I was eating so many that I thought my skin might be turning green. Well not really, but there were cucumbers being eaten at every meal. One of my all time favorite snacks is cucumbers and humus. I especially like the olive tapenade hummus – feels like a Mediterranean delight!

Anyway, I couldn’t possibly eat just cucumbers and humus. There were way too many cucumbers. So I cultivated some of my favorite cucumber recipes by asking the best person for the job. My mom. She gave me tons of options and I want to share my top 3 cucumber salad recipes.

I also enjoy making refrigerator pickles. (Recipe too come – I promise.) They are an easy and fast way to use cucumbers that you have in mass quantities and enjoy them over time. And I also can’t forget to mention cucumber sandwiches, yum! I don’t follow much of a recipe, but I use what I have on hand. Things like humus, avocado, and mayo are great “binding” agents. Add in some spinach or other vegetables and sprinkle some delicious seasonings… voila! And for those over achievers out there, cucumber sandwiches on fresh baked bread are the best!

3 Favorite Cucumber Recipes

These recipes are honestly fast and easy. I find the spicy cucumber salad and the balsamic salads are the easiest because I almost ALWAYS have the ingredients on hand. If you have cucumbers growing give these salads a try this week and let me know what you think.

EQUIPMENT

All of these dishes scale easily. Sometimes I make a small serving for lunch and leftovers the next day. But I can also double or triple the recipes to make a large serving for a family dinner or pot luck. That means I use a food processor to thinly slice the cucumbers and other ingredients for large batches. And I use my favorite knife for slicing small batches.

My food processor is from the stone age. Not really, but it was my mom’s before it was mine. I am the queen of hand me downs. I have my mom’s old kitchen aid standing mixer. Which I have affectionately named Old Blue. I also have my mom’s old hand mixer. Lucky for me, my mom has replaced all of her small kitchen appliances. Based on her upgrades, I have a food processor recommendation below.

I can remember being in college and talking to my dad about his monthly recipe. A little back story here. My dad use to mail us his recipe of the month. You heard me. Snail mail. This isn’t because I am so old, but rather because my dad has always been more comfortable outside the digital age. He only got a cell phone a few years ago.

Anyway, during this conversation my dad said something that has stuck with me. “A chef’s knife is never put away.” I’m not sure why that was so profound to a young Chellie, but I have never forgotten it. I asked for a very nice chef’s knife that Christmas and got it. I still have that very knife. Now, I also have gotten an upgrade, but you better believe that 9 times out of 10 that knife is sitting on my counter on my cutting board.

These are affiliate links.

Cuisinart Food processor

Shun Knife

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