Cucumber Season is Here: Recipes and Garden Tips

Cucumbers are a staple for warm-weather party trays, easy-to-make appetizers and simple snacks. With this in mind, Burpee’s crop of new introductions includes a 4-inch, thin-skinned “Party Time” cucumber, perfect for small gardens and mini-cuke dipping.

Cucumbers 101

  • Select cucumbers with uniformly deep green skin and no soft spots
  • Store cucumbers in a refrigerator crisper for up to a week. They will wilt when keep at room temperature. Unwaxed cucumbers should be wrapped tightly in plastic to retain their moisture.
  • Serve unwaxed cucumbers peeled or unpeeled. Waxed cucumbers are best peeled before they are eaten.
Cucumber recipes

Grow

Cucumbers are easy to grow but require good soil, lots of sun and consistent watering. According to the garden pros at USU, cucumbers can be grown from seed or transplants. (Allow 4-6 weeks to grow transplants.) Plant seeds when soil temperature is 65°F or after all frost danger has passed. In rows 4 feet apart, plant four to six seeds into 1-inch-deep holes, with 12-18 inches between each planting. After they have two leaves, thin to two plants per location. Transplants should also be planted in rows 4 feet apart, with 2 feet of distance between each planting. Water deeply and infrequently, applying 1-2 inches per week depending on plant size. After the vines develop runners and before the plants begin to flower, side dress each plant with 3-4 tablespoons of a nitrogen fertilizer (21-0-0), sprinkled around the plant, then water in the fertilizer. For more, visit extension.usu.edu

Cucumber Recipe Ideas Perfect for Spring

As a Garnish

Cucumbers deliver a uniquely fresh flavor to all types of warm-weather drinks, ranging from vodka martinis and gin-and-tonics to sparkling sodas and iced waters. They also make a cool garnish. Our favorite is the easy-to-make cucumber ribbon. Simply cut the end off a washed cucumber and then use a peeler to peel down the length of the cuke, set the ribbon aside and repeat. You can also use a mandolin to prepare these slices. Place one to three ribbons in your prepared drink and serve.

As a Snack

Smoked Salmon Cucumber Canape

1 unwaxed, organic cucumber

5 ounces chevre (creamy goat cheese)

6 ounces sliced smoked salmon

16 sprigs fresh dill (for garnish)

Score the cucumber’s skin lengthwise with a fork. Slice the decoratively scored cucumber into sixteen quarter-inch rounds. Spread a thin layer of chevre on each round. Top with salmon and dill. Serve on a chilled platte

Cucumber recipes

As a Dip

Creamy Ranch dressing makes a perfect dip for fresh, crisp cucumbers. Homemade or store bought, this classic also provides a wonderful base for adding your own flavorful twist.

• Stir in a favorite condiment, from simple mustard or barbecue sauce to diced pickles or even pesto.

• Turn up the heat with Sriracha, diced green chiles, Worcestershire, chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, salsa, Mexican hot sauce or Moroccan harissa paste.

• Brighten it with lemon zest and a squeeze of juice.

• Add more herbs including dill, chives, parsley, oregano or basil.

• Mix in your favorite flavor-packed cheese: think bleu, feta, Parmesan or sharp cheddar.

• Kick it up with lime juice, cilantro and diced avocado.

• Go for broke with roasted Poblano chiles, sauteed onions, crumbled bacon or roasted garlic.


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