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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!


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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