It's hard to imagine given their proliferation at supermarkets across the country, but cucumbers actually do have a season, and it's right now. These beautiful green fruits — yes, they're fruits, not vegetables! — belong to the same family as melon and squash, and they're at their peak growing time from early Summer to early Fall.
At the market, look for cucumbers that are firm, vividly colored, and absent of wrinkles, bruises, or discoloration. Store them in a warmer corner of the refrigerator (you don't want them to freeze!) and use them within two to three days. If you want to enjoy them with their skins still on, select thinner-skinned varieties like Kirby, Persian, Japanese, or English cucumbers. If you find a cucumber's skin too thick, waxy, or bitter, simply peel it off.
Read ahead for a few of our favorite ways to enjoy the cucumber.
- Cucumber's just as refreshing with vodka and ginger as it is water, so put it in a cocktail.
- Grate into tzatziki, a traditional cucumber, dill, and yogurt condiment.
- Quick pickle in vinegar, either Eastern or Western style.
- Cook your cucumber. Don't knock it 'til you've tried it!
- Use thin slices to add crunch to a ham salad sandwich.
- For dessert, infuse their cooling flavor into spicy cantaloupe paletas.
What was the last thing you made with cucumbers?
Source: Flickr User adie reed