Crazy Cucumber Salad
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.
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.
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.
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.
Now, I just wish I’d saved some of those slices to place over my eyes and escape this heatwave!
Posted: July 21st, 2011 under Gardening.