Are you feeling the heat? While I love the hot weather, I do reach a point where it does feel good to cool down. This is one reason why I like cooking seasonally-or using fruits and vegetables that are in season. Many spring and summer fruits and vegetables are naturally cooling-like cucumbers. Here’s a tasty twist on the typical cucumber salad.
According to The World’s Healthiest Foods, cucumbers have a very high water content-making them the perfect summer food to cool off & stay hydrated. Cucumbers are also have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. There are even studies using cucumber extract to fight some cancers. With only 15 calories and 2 grams of fiber per 1 cup serving-it can be a very filling snack.
I personally think they just taste good and are refreshing on a hot day. As with many fresh vegetables, I’ve also been known to eat this one right out of the garden. But I also like adding them to salads like this one or to a tuna or chicken salad for some extra crunch.
Choosing & Storage
Cucumbers should be a medium to bright green depending on the variety. A few varieties are supposed to be yellow, like the Lemon, but for the most part avoid yellow hues. If you’re not sure, ask the producer or grocer. Long, slicing cucumbers should also be firm without wrinkles. Some pickling cucumbers are much smaller with wrinkles. But they will also be very firm.
Many times cucumbers will be wrapped in plastic to keep them from drying out. They will keep for several days in the refrigerator. If you only eat part of a cucumber, be sure to wrap the remaining part in tight plastic before putting it back in the fridge. This will help prevent it from drying out.
I like to chop my vegetable up into smaller chunks that are easier to fit in my mouth, but others like to keep the cucumbers in larger whole circle-like slices. While fresh tomatoes are just starting to ripen here in Iowa, this is a recipe that’s worthy of one of those 1st tomatoes of the season. The tomatoes will give it some extra liquid, so you don’t need much mayo/salad dressing.
We also like onions at our house, but sometimes, raw onions don’t always agree with us, so I like to cook or sauté them before we eat them. It also adds a different flavor to the salad. You can leave them raw if you like.
That’s the beauty of a recipe, its more like a guideline. You can experiment with it any way you like and make it your own!