Did you know that cucumbers offer not only high water content but also electrolytes as well as low calories with every crunchy bite? But eating them plain often isn’t that appealing. Here’s a tasty way to get this vegetable into your diet.
What Is It
In western gardens, climbing-vine vegetables are maturing this time of year. The vines are spreading, leaves are thickening and trusses are flowering. It’s only a matter of time before your cucumbers are ready for an early summer harvest. Typical of vine vegetables, cucumbers are “the gift that keeps on giving.” You can harvest 10 to 20 cucumbers from a single healthy vine, all summer long.
A cool cucumber salad is a refreshing way to use this relatively mild-flavored vegetable. Picked at the peak of the season, thinly sliced and marinated, cucumbers flourish and develop in your mouth like a dessert wine after a great meal.
With this summer salad, the longer it sits in the refrigerator, the better it tastes. Make this ahead of time and the flavors will develop into a refreshing first course, or fresh addition to your restaurant salad bar.
- 2 cups, thinly sliced and peeled cucumber
- ½ cup, thinly sliced red onion
- ½ cup, diced green bell pepper
- 1 Tbsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- 1 tsp. celery seed
- ¾ cup granulated sugar or substitute coconut palm sugar
- ½ cup white vinegar
Flavor Swap: Use white onions instead of red onions for a slightly different flavor and if you don’t want the liquid to turn slightly red. Add a 1/3 of a cup of sliced, drained black olives for a surprising burst of flavor and texture.
Sugar Swap: The recipe contains a substantial amount of sugar and the flavor profile of the salad is definitely sweet. You can easily reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe and it will still taste great; just less sweet. If you can find it, replace 1/2 of the granulated sugar with coconut palm sugar, a natural product made from the nectar of the coconut palm tree. Coconut palm sugar is a low-carb substitute and it has a naturally low glycemic index. You can also cut back on the sugar and add some naturally sweet fresh peas picked at the peak of ripeness.
Three simple words: Couldn’t be easier!
Editor’s Note: photo courtesy Eric C. Bryan–Creative Commons