Valley Bounty: Cucumber

Aug 27 2016

Enter, stage left, the humble cucumber: well-regarded for its starring role as The Pickle, a stalwart supporting character in salads and tzatziki, and lately making popular cameos in water and gin-based mixed drinks. The cuke is a dependable, workaday vegetable, often welcome but only occasionally the star. But have we typecast our friend into too narrow a creative range? What else is the cuke capable of?

Consider this scenario: a potluck approaches, and to satisfy everyone’s needs, gluten-based foods are off the table (a situation I imagine few will find completely unfamiliar). In all likelihood, salad and protein are covered. What’s a cuke to do? Try running some through the spiralizer, which will turn them into cucumber noodles. Toss the noodles in sesame seeds and an easy sauce made from vinegar, soy sauce, peanut butter, ginger, garlic, and sriracha for a twist on classic takeout-style sesame noodles (with the added benefit of not needing to cook anything). They also take well to homemade pesto (with lots of fresh, local basil), maybe with some shredded parmesan and cherry tomatoes. In either case, we’ve offered the good ol’ cuke a whole new stage to shine on.

Valley Bounty is written by Brian Snell of CISA (Community Involved I Sustaining Agriculture)

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