ENGLISH CUCUMBER SALAD
English cucumbers, also referred to as "burpless" cucumbers, tend to be long and narrow and have a mild taste. Though the English cucumber works best in this recipe, other varieties will also work well.
1 Tbsp (15 mL) finely chopped fresh rosemary
2 Tbsp (30 mL) balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp (30 mL) olive oil
1 Tbsp (15 mL) Dijon mustard
1 English cucumber with peel, washed and thinly sliced
cracked black pepper, to taste
In a small saucepan, add the rosemary, vinegar, and olive oil. Heat over very low heat to blend and intensify the flavors, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in the mustard until well blended. In a serving bowl, add the cucumber slices. Pour the dressing over the cucumbers and toss to coat evenly. Add the black pepper to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
CHILI-CRUSTED SCALLOPS WITH CUCUMBER SALAD
This refreshing salad of cucumbers and roasted cashews contrasts nicely with these smoky scallops. You can make the salad and scallop skewers up to 8 hours in advance; cover separately and store in the refrigerator until you're ready to grill.
2 medium cucumbers
1/2 Cup (120 mL) salted roasted cashews, coarsely chopped (2 ounces)
2 scallions, (white and light green parts), thinly sliced
2 tsp (10 mL) lemon juice, juice
1/4 Cup (60 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 Cup (60 mL) coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/8 (.5 mL) salt
1 tsp (5 mL) cumin seeds
2 Tbsp (30 mL) minced seeded serrano chile
1 tsp (5 mL) freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) kosher salt
1-1 1/4 pounds sea scallops
To prepare salad:
Peel and seed cucumbers; quarter lengthwise and slice 1/4 inch thick. Combine the cucumbers, cashews, scallions, lemon juice, oil, parsley, and salt in a large bowl.
To prepare scallops:
Toast cumin seeds in a small skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer to a cutting board and let cool, then coarsely chop. Combine the cumin seeds, chile, pepper, and salt in a small bowl. Rinse scallops, pat dry and rub with the spice mixture. Thread the scallops onto four 12-inch skewers. Preheat grill to medium-high. Oil the grill rack. Grill the scallops until cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Carefully remove the scallops from the skewers. Serve warm with the cucumber salad.
CREAMY CUCUMBER SOUP
1 Tbsp (15 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, diced
1 Tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice
4 Cups (960 mL) peeled, seeded and thinly sliced cucumbers, divided
1 1/2 Cups (360 mL) vegetable broth, or reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) salt
1/4 tsp (1.25 mL) freshly ground pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 avocado, diced
1/4 Cup (60 mL) chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
1/2 Cup (120 mL) low-fat plain yogurt
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 1 to 4 minutes. Add lemon juice and cook for 1 minute. Add 3 3/4 cups cucumber slices, broth, salt, pepper, and cayenne; bring to a simmer.
Reduce heat and cook at a gentle simmer until the cucumbers are soft, 6 to 8 minutes.
Transfer the soup to a blender. Add avocado and parsley; blend on low speed until smooth (use caution when pureeing hot liquids). Pour into a serving bowl and stir in yogurt. Chop the remaining 1/4 cup cucumber slices. Serve the soup warm or refrigerate and serve it chilled. Just before serving, garnish with the chopped cucumber and more chopped parsley, if desired.
Spread pumpernickle bread with mayonnaise, top with thin slices of cucumber, then sprinkle with lemon pepper – so easy and so good.
Recipe from: Louise Thomson – Strathmore, Alberta
Feeling tired in the afternoon? Put down the caffeinated soda and pick up a cucumber. Cucumbers are a good source of B vitamins and carbohydrates that can provide a quick pick-me-up that can last for hours.
Cucumbers are a very low calorie vegetable, containing just 15 calories per 100 g. They contain no saturated fats or cholesterol. Cucumber peel is a good source of dietary fiber that helps reduce constipation, and offers some protection against colon cancers by eliminating toxic compounds from the gut.
Cucumbers are a very good source of potassium, an important intracellular electrolyte. Potassium is a heart-friendly electrolyte; it helps reduce blood pressure and heart rates by countering the effects of excess sodium.
Cucumbers contain vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, C, folic acid, calcium,
iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc.
Cucumbers contain unique antioxidants, including B-carotene and α-carotene, vitamin-C, vitamin-A, zea-xanthin and lutein. These compounds help act as protective scavengers against oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play a role in aging and various disease processes.
Cucumbers have mild diuretic property, likely due to their high water and potassium content, which helps in checking weight gain and high blood pressure.