Still “got cukes”? You can make a couple of cute and yummy appetizers with your bounty.
Cut cukes into chunks about 1-2 inches tall, perhaps peeling a few strips of the skin off for ‘decor’ purposes. Hollow out the chunk, that is, remove the seeds. This can be done with some careful operating of a melon baller. If you want to get real fancy, you can leave the bottom of the chunk intact (if your filling is very thick though, you don’t have to worry too much about leaving it, so, meh). Add your favorite dip. I love the Smoked Mozzarella and Tomato blend that Wildtree sells – its a thick cream-cheese-based dip, but can also be made with Greek yogurt. Plop some dip into the cup, and serve, “You can even eat the dishes,” just like in Willy Wonka!
Cucumber Finger Sandwiches:
Simply slice a cucumber, and put dilled- cream cheese or yogurt on a piece of Melba bread (think of ‘This is Spinal Tap’ while you’re doing it, and try to resist using ‘large bread’ — just trust me on this one). A nice refreshing touch is to add mint to the spread, or a small amount of minced mint on the very top.
Cucumbers in your water? Whoda’thunk? And why would you ever do it? you ask. Doug DiPasquale writes in an article aptly titled, “Cucumber Water: The most refreshing drink EVER?”
Cucumbers contain vitamin C and caffeic acid, two antioxidant nutrients that can help protect the skin from sun damage. Vitamin C boosts collagen and elastin, which helps keep skin looking vibrant while caffeic acid protects skin cells from UV radiation. Cucumbers also have natural anti-inflammatory properties and help to prevent water retention. Cucumbers also contain silica, an essential component of healthy connective tissue.
Cut up a cucumber, add splash of lemon, lime, or mint, and steep overnight in a pitcher of water. It is refreshing and a cool drink on a hot day.
Layered Greek Dip:
This has fast become my FAVORITE! And, it also incorporates another seasonal veggie and my favorite stinky cheese! This recipe is from ‘Simply in Season’ – where else?
Get a pie plate, and spread the bottom with about 1 1/2 C. greek yogurt. Top that with chives or a green onion, minced. Layer on top of that, 4 – 6 generous dollops of smooth hummus, and spread smooth. Cucumbers, and Tomatoes, and more green onions form the tip top, and cut up your choice of olives and finally seal it with the smell of feta.
Delicious with pita chips or really any kind of crunchy chip or veggie.