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Crazy Cucumber Salad

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They say you should pick cucumbers before they get too big and start to turn yellow, a sign of over-ripeness. Well, we apparently missed the boat on this one — weeks ago, it seems. While peeking underneath big leaves in a particularly lush and crowded row of the garden, I came across this enormous, deep-orange… thing.

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I was even frightened by the sight of it, and thought at first a pumpkin or butternut squash had come early. It was so heavy that it had actually grown into a space in between two keg-containers, and was situated snugly there to keep above the ground. That’s why there’s a slight dent in one side, from the contours of the containers.

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But a cucumber it was, and there were many more that I’d recently plucked from the vines, too. So, on one of the hottest days of the year thus far, I whipped up a great batch of cucumber salad, with fresh mint.

There was a small handful of sungolds and red cherry tomatoes that had just turned ripe, and a number of bell peppers. The heirloom Sultan’s Gold pole beans plant is still producing. So a few of these vegetables were chopped up to toss in, too.

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The mammoth cucumber, however, seemed to demand special treatment. After cutting it in half to make sure it was actually a cuke, I noticed that despite its size, its seed pocket was quite small. I continued slicing into it, to see further into the thing. The great, dense discs plopped over onto the cutting board, about the size of silver-dollar pancakes. They were too impressive to cut further. So I prepared this cucumber as a separate salad, sprinkled with sea salt, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and sprigs of fresh herbs, more or less like a platter of fresh tomatoes.

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Now, I just wish I’d saved some of those slices to place over my eyes and escape this heatwave!

Comments

Comment from Meister @ The Nervous Cook
Time July 22, 2011 at 12:26 am

Woah, that cuke is a real stunner! I’m sure I’d do a double-take, too, if I saw that behemouth in the garden.

In my CSA the past few weeks there have been Boothby Blonde cucumbers, which I’d never seen before but am really enjoying. I have to admit I’d not given cucumbers much thought before, but now they just seem like a little refreshing gift from the ground.

Pingback from Tofu Salad with Cucumbers, Scallions & Nori » Not Eating Out in New York
Time November 6, 2012 at 4:05 am

[...] reminded of the time I once neglected to see a cucumber in my garden until it had grown into a neon-orange torpedo wedged between two planters. Then I admire that farmer’s punctuality in bringing it to [...]

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