Here’s a fun fact: thanks to its high water content, the inside of a cucumber can be up to 20 degrees cooler than the temperature outside in a hot summer garden. In fact, we’ve found that this crisp, juicy veggie can stand up to just about any type of heat you toss its way, from spicy-hot chiles and ginger-laced dressings to intense blender speeds and broiler oven settings.
1/2 cup unpeeled sliced cucumber contains the following:
50 g water
5 g sugar
1.5 mg vitamin C
4 mcg folate
Know Your Cukes
Cucumber varieties are interchangeable in recipes, though certain types lend themselves better to certain dishes.
GARDEN, COMMON, OR FIELD-GROWN The familiar, year-round salad staple with a sweet, slightly citrusy flavor.
ENGLISH, HOTHOUSE, OR BURPLESS Longer, smoother, and greener than garden cucumbers; some chefs prefer these for their thin skin, small seeds, and mild flavor.
JAPANESE Long and bumpy, with a thin skin and delicate flavor.
KIRBY Shorty and bumpy; ideal for pickling.
LEMON Round, yellow heirloom variety that’s gorgeous in salads and pickles.
PERSIAN Small, slender, and thin-skinned, with sweet flesh and small seeds.September 2011 p.70
get the recipes
Blended cucumbers thicken a lightly sweet smoothie for a low-cal breakfast or a refreshing afternoon snack.more
Panang Cucumber Curry
With a little heat and a spicy curry paste, cucumbers star in a hearty Indonesian dish. Serve in bowls with steamed basmati rice.more
Tofu and Cucumber Salad with Sesame-Ginger Dressing
Furikake, a Japanese rice seasoning, adds subtle taste and texture to this salad. To make your own furikake, crumble 1 sheet of nori (toasted seaweed used to wrap sushi) and toss with 2 tsp. toasted sesame seeds and 1/4 tsp. sea salt.more
Persian Pico de Gallo
The best way to describe this recipe is a reinterpretation of Mexican salsa using Middle Eastern flavors. Serve with pita chips, or use as a condiment with falafel.more
This dish takes its inspiration from Julia Child’s recipe for baked cucumbers in Mastering the Art of French Cooking.more