Monday, June 30, 2014

Marinated Cucumbers

I'm so excited that it's the season of farmers markets! East Lake has a great local market. We're doing a subscription again this year for a half share of a market box. For about $15/week you get an assortment of fresh fruits & veggies. Occasionally, they'll also throw in baked goods or homemade jams or relish or even recipes. I feel like doing the subscription is helping me get better at creating meals from what I have on hand.

Cucumbers are one of the items at the farmers market whose flavor far surpasses that of its supermarket siblings. These cucumbers are so good, Andy and I will often eat them by themselves, sliced thin like "chips" to dip in hummus or other dips, or added to a sandwich. If we get a lot of them and I know we won't eat them all before they go bad, I like to marinate them, using a recipe we got in our box last year. They make a refreshing, tangy snack for the hot summer.

Marinated Cucumbers

2-3 cucumbers
1 T salt
3/4 cup vinegar
2 T sugar

Scrape the sides of the cucumber all the way around with the tines of a fork. Slice cucumbers very thin.

Sprinkle with salt then let sit for 2 hours. ***DO NOT skip this step. This releases excess moisture from the cucumbers. I decided to cheat and skip this step one time and boy was I sorry. The cucumbers absorb way too much of the vinegar if you do that and are almost inedible.

Pour off excess water. I even blot mine with a paper towel.

Mix together vinegar and sugar until sugar starts to dissolve a little. I pour in any salt I have left over from salting the cucumbers as well. The cucumbers taste great without adding any additional seasoning, but I like to add some herbs as well. Add about 1/2 tsp of dried oregano & dill or herb(s) of your choice (you can always sub fresh herbs too). I add a little sprinkle of cayenne too.

Throw cucumbers into vinegar mixture and refrigerate until serving. These will keep for a least a week or two.

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