Of all the vine vegetables you can grow this summer, your garden wouldn’t be complete without a health haul of cucumbers. Assuming you keep the ground fairly moist, cucumbers are one of the easier veggies to grow - they’re pretty much the Ronco Rotisserie of veggies; just set it and forget it.
So when your garden comes to full harvest, there are countless options on how to use your ‘cukes. To keep things simple, we’re giving you 11 different uses for your summer cucumbers.
1. Smoky Cucumber, Tomato and Onion Salad
Adapted from a Rachel Ray recipe - remember her? - our summer salad combines cucumbers, tomato and onion with a smoky, simple vinaigrette for a cool summer side dish. The salad can be served along with any of your favorite summertime main dishes. Get our Smoky Cucumber, Tomato and Onion Salad recipe.
2. Easy Shrimp Salad with Cucumber and Mango
In this salad from Epicurious, shrimp, cucumber and mango are combined with dill for a heatless mid-week meal perfect for when it’s too hot cook. We recommend making some extra, as the shrimp salad also makes a great lunch. Get our Easy Shrimp Salad with Cucumber and Mango recipe.
3. Tangy Cucumber Pickles (Ah-Jaht)
Since cucumbers are most commonly associated with pickles, it’s only natural that we have to include a recipe. These simple, spicy Thai-pickles come together after a day of marinating in the fridge. Get our Tangy Cucumber Pickles (Ah-Jaht) recipe.
4. Cucumber Mignonette
The traditional mignonette - made with minced shallots, cracked pepper, and vinegar - benefits greatly with the addition of cucumber in this funky adaption. The mignonette can be served along with fresh-shucked oysters or steamed crab legs or shrimp. Get our Cucumber Mignonette recipe.
5. Cucumber and Cumin Yogurt Relish
This tzatziki-like condiment is great on all of the summer staples; grilled chicken, burgers and veggies. For an especially creamy (and slightly healthier) version, follow the recommendations and go with Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. Get our Cucumber and Cumin Yogurt Relish recipe.
6. Cucumber Margaritas
For a cool twist on the classic margarita, blended (and strained) cucumber puree adds some depth and a refreshing taste that pairs nicely with tart of limejuice and bite of Blanco tequila. Get our Cucumber Margaritas recipe.
7. Cucumber and Bibb Lettuce Salad with Creamy Horseradish Vinaigrette
Who said that a simple cucumber and lettuce salad has to be boring? When combined with our creamy horseradish vinaigrette, of course, this salad is easy to make but full on flavor. Get our Cucumber and Bibb Lettuce Salad with Creamy Horseradish Vinaigrette recipe.
8. Cucumber, Hummus and Lemon Tea Sandwiches
Planning on an afternoon tea party this summer? Our cucumber sandwiches offer a simple tweak to the classic preparation with the addition of hummus and thinly sliced lemon. Get our Cucumber, Hummus and Lemon Tea Sandwiches recipe.
9. Grilled Cucumbers with Creamy Pickled Feta Dip
Like other veggies, grilling cucumbers can add a char and unique texture that can’t be found with traditional preps. The grilled ‘cukes are served along with pickled feta in this recipe from She Likes Food. Get the recipe here.
10. Chilled Cucumber and Avocado Soup with Mango Salsa
The perfect hot weather dish, this soup from Food52 will quickly become a summertime staple. It’s a snap to make and highly adaptable. Get the recipe here.
11. Cucumber Ice Cream
And proving that any flavor of ice cream is good - except coffee, yuck - cucumber ice cream is a refreshing summertime option that isn’t as crazy as it sounds. It’s light, with a subtle flavor - just what you want on a hot summers night. Get the recipe here.
Dan McKay is a Canadian actor, film director, screenwriter, and musician—oh wait, that's Ryan Gosling. Dan is a Philly-based freelance writer, photographer, and digital marketer. He has written for Eater and Thrillist, in addition to other publications. Outside of work, you might run across him in the Asian market or in one of Philly’s local drinking establishments.