Having a surplus of one vegetable (or fruit, if you're one of THOSE people) forces you to get creative. Thankfully, Justine at our CSA does that for me. She e-mails us yummy recipes each week.
My first cucumber experiment was Chilled Cucumber-Mint Soup (scroll down about halfway to get the recipe). It was also my first go-round with our big food processor. Woo!
Chilled Cucumber-Mint Soup with Yogurt or Sour Cream
4 cucumbers, peeled, seeded and chopped (about 4 cups)
1 to 2 cups water
2 cups plain yogurt (You can use 1 cup plain yogurt and 1 cup of sour cream instead. I used 2 cups of nonfat Greek yogurt!)
1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
fresh mint, several leaves (Don't go too crazy, a little goes a long way.)
2 tbsp fresh dill OR 1 tsp dried dill
1 tbsp honey
1 to 2 tbsp salt
2 scallions, finely chopped (about 1/3 cup)
- Combine the chopped cucumber, 1 cup water, yogurt, garlic, mint, dill, honey, and 1 tbsp salt in a blender or food processor.
- Puree the ingredients, adding more water until the soup is a consistency you like. Season with more salt to taste.
(Side note: Cucumbers are really watery. You can probably do without the extra water, unless you like soupy soup. Whatever floats your boat!)
- Transfer soup to large bowl and chill for several hours. Garnish with chopped scallions.
However, it definitely tasted better the next day after being chilled. Recipes are meant to be followed sometimes, I guess :P
The soup took care of half of our cucumbers, so I threw together a Greek salad to use the rest. Super easy.
Good for You Greek Salad
3 large ripe tomatoes, chopped
2 cucumbers, peeled and chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
4 teaspoons lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano (Surprised it didn't ask for fresh, but I didn't have fresh anyway.)
1 cup crumbled feta cheese (Get the nonfat kind if you can!)
- In shallow salad bowl, or on serving platter, combine tomatoes, cucumber, and onion.
- Sprinkle with oil, lemon juice, oregano, and
salt andpepper to taste. (I'm serious, you really don't need salt.)
- Sprinkle feta cheese and olives over salad.
No feta yet.
Unlike the soup, the salad tastes better if eaten right away. The leftovers were ok, but the tomatoes were mushy. I never cared for cold tomatoes though, so it could just be a preference thing. Throw some more olives and feta in and you won't notice :)
And with that, cucumber dinner is served!
Of course I used the one chipped plate for this picture.
This was the fastest I'd ever turned out a meal. Granted they weren't the most difficult of recipes, but I'm admittedly slow when it comes to preparing. I need to learn to not care as much about how big my chopped pieces and other little details are.