[addthis tool="addthis_inline_share_toolbox"]

For Immediate Release
August 15, 2011
William Troxell
[email protected]


 “Simply Delicious” Recipes for Cucumbers

Plenty of Pennsylvania “Simply Delicious” cucumbers are now available at roadside farm markets, community farmer’s markets and local supermarkets.  Pennsylvania growers produce over 600 acres of cucumbers each year.  Cucumbers are the basis for many cool and refreshing salads but can also be pickled or cooked various ways.

Cucumbers grow on vines like their cousins:  cantaloupes, watermelons, squash, and pumpkins.  According to the Wellness Encyclopedia fo Food and Nutrition (University of California at Berkeley), cucumbers originated in Asia and were brought to America by Columbus where both colonists and native Americans began growing them.

There are many different varieties of cucumbers, but the more commonly available kinds are greenhouse or seedless cucumbers which can be as long as 1 to 2 feet, dark green slicing cucumbers which are about 8 inches long and lighter green pickling cucumbers.  Some pickling varieties will get 8 inches long also, but most are smaller or simply harvested at a much smaller size.

Cucumbers are mostly water, which is why they add such a cool and refreshing taste to salads.  They are low in calories, but ,unfortunately, are also low in vitamins.  They can still add their delicate flavor to nutritious summer salads and other recipes.

Here are some tasty cucumber recipes from the 2010 Pennsylvania Vegetable Recipe Contest:

Cucumber and Shrimp Margarita Cocktail
This is inspired by the Mexican version of shrimp cocktail in which the shrimp are
served in a juicy spicy tomato-based sauce.

6                Cucumbers – fresh, pickle-type or 2 long greenhouse type
2                Tomatoes – large, very juicy and ripe, cut into 1/2” pieces.
2 c.            Tomato or Vegetable Juice (V8)
1/3 c.         Sweet Onion (such as Pennsylvania Simply Sweet) – chopped
2                Jalapeno Peppers – seeded and finely chopped
1/4 c.         Sweet Pepper – diced
2                Limes – juiced
2                Lemons – juiced
1/3 c.         Cilantro Leaves
Black Pepper – ground
1/2 lb.       Shrimp – peeled cooked
1                Avocado
Tortilla Chips
Salt – flaked or coarse

If the cucumber skin is tough, peel it. Otherwise just slice in half, then cut into 1/4 inch thick chunks. Add to a large bowl and salt lightly. Let sit 10 minutes, then add tomatoes, tomato juice, onion, jalapeno and sweet pepper, lime and lemon juices, cilantro, 1/2 teaspoon salt and some ground black pepper. Slice shrimp in half, then into bite size pieces and add into vegetables. Let sit 1/2 hour. Taste and adjust salt and lemon juice. If not spicy hot enough add more jalapeno or your favorite hot-sauce.  Right before serving pit the avocado and cut into 1/2-inch chunks. Gently stir into the bowl of vegetables  To serve, choose over-sized goblets or margarita glasses. Rub rim with a cut lemon slice and dip the rip in flaked salt.  Carefully ladle in the shrimp cocktail with a lot of the juice. Top with additional cilantro.  Serve with tortilla chips and a spoon. Pass hot sauce at the table.

Debra Deis, Harrisburg, First Place Recipe – Melon/Cucumber Category –
2010 Pennsylvania “Simply Delicious, Simply Nutritious” Vegetable Recipe Contest


Cool Cucumber Mint Soup
Serves 3 to 4

2                Cucumbers – medium, peeled and seeds removed
1 1/2 c.     Yogurt – plain, cold
4                Mint Leaves – fresh, more for garnish
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. Salt, to taste
Dice 1/4 cup cucumber. Set aside.  Cut remaining cucumber into chunks and put in blender. Add yogurt, mint leaves and salt. Puree about 1 minute. Pour into serving bowls or cups. Sprinkle reserved diced cucumber evenly into soup. Garnish with sprigs of mint. Serve immediately.

Bonnie Lee Strunk Brasted, Allentown, Finalist Recipe
2010 Pennsylvania “Simply Delicious, Simply Nutritious” Vegetable Recipe Contest


Cool as a Cucumber Rounds
Serves 6 to 8

3                Cucumbers – seedless
2 cloves   Garlic – finely minced
8                Scallions – finely chopped
2 1/2 c.     Yogurt – plain and thick
5 T.            Mint – fresh, chopped
Salt – to taste
Pepper – fresh ground, to taste
Mint  – for garnish

Trim the ends of the cucumbers and discard. Cut into 1-inch slices. Do not peel outer skin. With the tip of a spoon, hollow out the center of each piece, careful not to dig through the bottom. Leave a wall on the sides for the filling. Chop the centers of the cucumbers, to be used in the filling. Place the cucumber rounds on a platter or cookie sheet and refrigerate while making the filling. Place the garlic and scallions in a large bowl. Add yogurt, chopped cucumber centers, mint, salt and pepper. Mix well. Fill the cucumber rounds with the mixture. Garnish with the fresh mint. Place in the refrigerator until serving time. Refrigerate any extra filling to be used for later use.

Kenneth Ward, Hulmeville, Finalist Recipe
2010 Pennsylvania “Simply Delicious, Simply Nutritious” Vegetable Recipe Contest


Quick buying tips for Fresh Pennsylvania Cucumbers
The Pennsylvania Vegetable Marketing and Research Program offers these tips when buying cucumbers:
—    Select slicing cucumbers with a rich green color.  Pickling cucumbers typically have light green skins.  Cucumbers should be uniformly shaped, not pointed or misshappen.
—    Cucumbers should be refrigerated.  Uncut, they will keep for a week or more, especially if waxed.
—    Cut cucumbers should be wrapped tighly in plastic wrap and used in a day or two.


[addthis tool="addthis_inline_share_toolbox"]
[addthis tool="addthis_relatedposts_inline"]