Sunday, June 26, 2016

| cucumber time |

Whenever I have produce and I'm not sure what to do with it, Farmer John comes to the rescue. I bought this cookbook a few years ago. It's organized by fruit/vegetable, so you can just bring in whatever you have from the garden and find a good recipe that features it. Our cucumbers are just starting to come in and I needed a quick and easy way to use up three fresh ones yesterday. I was delighted to find this simple recipe. The end result is very similar to bread-and-butter pickles. Yum.

Serves 6-8

3 large cucumbers (about 2 pounds), peeled, very thinly sliced
1 T coarse seat salt or kosher salt
2/3 c white or apple cider vinegar
1/2 c water
1/2 c sugar
1/4 t salt (note: I didn't add this, as I felt they were already salty enough)
1/4 t pepper
2 T finely chopped fresh dill or 1 T dried dill

1) In a large bowl, use your hands to thoroughly but gently mix the cucumber and salt.
2) Place a plate on top of the cucumbers, then place a 2-3 pound weight (like a large can of vegetables) on the plate to weigh it down (this helps release the salt). Set the cucumbers aside to marinate at room temperature for several hours or in the refrigerator overnight.
3) Drain the cucumbers thoroughly in a colander and pat them dry on a clean dish towel. Rinse and dry the bowl, then return the cucumbers to the bowl. (Note: I tasted my cukes here and they were waaaaay too salty. So I rinsed them thoroughly.)
4) Mix the vinegar, water, sugar, salt, and pepper in a small pot over medium heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring often, until the sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
5) Pour the hot vinegar mixture over the cucumber slices. Sprinkle with the dill and mix to combine.
6) Chill for at least 3 hours. Drain and serve.

Ideas: I think these would also be good with some garlic and/or crushed red pepper added to the vinegar mixture. The recipe also suggests replacing the dill with the feathery leaves from a head of fennel. Yum.

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