Whether you started a garden and are overrun with cucumbers or found a deal at the farmer's market and brought home a bushel of cukes, you are not relegated to salads for breakfast, lunch and dinner. In fact, there are tons of things you can do with a cucumber.
1. Get Souped Up
Cold Cucumber Soup is bliss on hot summer nights. Many recipes play off of this basic formula: chop and peel a couple of cucumbers and toss them in a blender with some yogurt and seasonings of your choice. Our version of this no-cook blender soup has fresh lemon zest and juice, plus chopped fresh dill, and it’s the lightest, brightest, most summer-perfect thing you can imagine.
2. Make Quick Pickles, Real Quick
Do you have four seconds? Because that’s about all the time it takes to prep these incredibly flavorful Asian-inspired refrigerator pickles. They’re a little sweet, a little acidic, and they’re perfect on everything from these Thai Peanut Chicken Bowls to summer BBQ sandwiches.
3. Drink Up
Introducing the Cucumber Lime Martini: part cucumber spa water, part “Mad Men” rocket fuel, it’s exactly the kind of crisp, cool drink you need in your summer.
4. Cool Down
These Cucumber-Chili Mexican Paletas are the ice pops you’ve been looking for all your life. They’re hydrating (cucumbers are something like 114% water), sweet, tart, spicy and ice cold, all at the same time. In other words, they’re everything you need to survive summer.
5. Pack a Picnic Salad
We’re pretty sure a picnic isn’t a picnic until someone shows up with a giant batch of this Creamy Cucumber Dill Salad. Make it, master it, and bring it to every social gathering on your calendar from now until Labor Day.
6. Give Them the Zoodle Treatment
We didn’t think there was a way to make caprese salad—that classic combo of tomatoes, mozzarella and basil—any better, and then we found this recipe for Cucumber Caprese Salad, “Noodles” of spiralized cucumbers are the secret to this fresh, go-to dish.
7. Pile Them on Pizza
This Bahn Mi Flatbread is packed with the bold and spicy flavors of the famous Vietnamese sandwich, right down to the cool sliced cucumbers that help balance out all that heat.
8. Make Tzatziki Sauce
Tzatziki sauce is made with yogurt, cucumbers and dill, and it’s the perfect cool complement to flavor-packed foods like these Greek-inspired Gyro Sandwiches. Make this version a few hours—or even days!—ahead of time, and then proceed to put it on EVERYTHING.
9. DIY Your Dressing
There’s just something about summer heat that makes a person crave fresh veggies. And our answer to that is this recipe for Cucumber Ranch Dressing. Drizzle it over salads or serve it as a dip—either way, extremely cool ranch is guaranteed to get your through your whole CSA share and/or your overly ambitious farmers’ market hauls this summer.
10. Go Mini
These adorable Ranch Cucumber Bites are the perfect appetizer for summer gatherings. The secret? Three layers of cool: sliced cucumbers, ranch cream cheese and ripe cherry tomatoes. It’s true what they say: simple really IS beautiful.