Whether you're a CSA devotee, a farmers' market weekender or consider ketchup a veg, we'll bring you fresh inspiration for how to prepare our local produce.
This week's harvest: Cucumbers
Cucumbers are not just for slicing and lightly placing over your tired eyes after a long night. They are a very nice way to enjoy summer in a fresh, crunchy way. The cucumbers that grow well here in the desert are the crazy long ones called Armenian cucumbers are native to Armenia cut they are not cucumbers, but rather an immature melon. They taste like cukes so we're going to consider them such for our purposes of eating them.
Here are some ways to eat up that clean-tasting spa-water addition, cucumbers.
When are cucumbers in season?
Regular ol' cucumbers are in season for just a few weeks from the middle of May through June, but the uber-long Armenian cucumbers are in season June through about October.
Selecting, storage and preparation tips:
Look for smooth firm cucumbers at the market. Store them in plastic in the fridge and wash just before using. The supermarket standard cucumbers need to be peeled to make more palatable but the Armenian, hothouse cukes are just fine as-is.
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Cucumber Agua Fresca with Lemon and Mint
Don't worry if you don't have all the ingredients, play around with what you have at home. - you could use watermelon or mint instead.
Chilled Avocado Cucumber Soup
Creamy green goodness.
Cucumber Basil Sammy
Go simple and granny with white bread, mayo and seasoned thinly sliced cukes or have this whole wheat herbed version.
Cucumber and Tomato Salad with Marinated Garbanzo Beans, Feta, and Herbs
Lovely simple summer supper.
Cucumber Honeydew Margarita Popsicles
It's a dessert and a cocktail. Omit the liquor for the kiddies.
Easy Quick Pickles
Extra cukes? Make these.
Jennifer Woods is a local food advocate with over 10 years working in the AZ food industry, and currently works for Crooked Sky Farms, a CSA produce farm based in South Phoenix.