Yesterday I received a windfall of cucumbers, if one could call it that: a friend was drowning in the excesses produced by her plants and gave me a big bagful. Normally I just chop the cucumbers, add some chopped tomatoes and basil, and dress the salad with oil and vinegar, but I can't have that every day of the week. Even if I did (and I might after all -- it's so delicious), I wouldn't finish up all these cukes!
John puts them in baloney sandwiches, which is good. And I've tried them in my BLT's -- definitely a nice touch. (I also use pesto instead of mayo -- seriously, try it.) But even that is not enough. I am wallowing in cucumber riches, and I want to mix it up a bit.
So I'm turning to a few other favorites. The first one is from my mom, who told me it was a favorite dish in Iran. It's terribly simple.
Peel and chop cucumbers into chunks. Mix with plain yogurt -- thick Greek yogurt is best, but any is fine. Add salt and dill to taste.
I don't know what you call it, but it's definitely a staple all around the Mediterranean.
The other one is a recipe I pulled out of The Joy of Cooking when, as a pre-teen, I hosted a Valentine's Day tea party. What's a traditional tea party without cucumber sandwiches?
Peel cucumbers and grate them. Put in a strainer, in a cheesecloth bag, or between paper towels and squeeze as much water out as you easily can. Move the grated cucumber to a bowl and add cream cheese until it's a thick, but spreadable consistency. Add grated onion -- say 1/4 onion for each cucumber. Season with a teeny dash of red pepper sauce (like Tabasco), salt, and white (or black) pepper. Spread on white bread and cut into triangles (or, as I did, hearts).
The Joy of Cooking has several cooked cucumber recipes, but I never tried them. What's the point of cooking something that is so fresh, delicious, and summery raw? I am going to rustle up a recipe for chilled cucumber soup, though. That sounds perfect.