The Best Way To Use Up Extra Cucumbers Is Not What You Think

Your summer gardens are bursting with fresh veggies, especially cucumbers. Or maybe you’re in our CSA and experiencing our farm’s best cucumber year ever…

And that’s no bad thing because in America, a cool, crisp cucumber is just about the definition of summer, right?

But, what to do with so many cucumbers?!

 

 

There are only so many you can eat raw: whether in a salad, or cut into sticks with dip, or as a sweet and sour pickle…

Hardly anyone considers cooking cucumbers!

In fact, to most the thought of cooking a cucumber is just plain wrong.

Picture this recent conversation with a couple of our CSA members…

“Cooked cucumbers? What? Are you kidding me? No! That’s weird!”

And I understand where this belief comes from.  I grew up eating my cucumbers raw, too. 

But since having a CSA and then becoming a farmer, I realize that having extra produce like cucumbers around has helped me be more adventurous in the kitchen over the years. Now that I’ve tasted how good cucumbers are cooked, I want to help others try to it, too.

 

Why cooking cucumbers is worth a try

  1. Uses up extras: from overflowing gardens or CSA boxes
  2. Amazing taste: creates a new flavor that is exciting and different
  3. Try new things: gives you a new way to enjoy an old favorite
  4. Easy and simple: cooking cukes is no more complicated than summer squash or other summer stand-bys.
  5. Eat more veggies: just another fun way to incorporate more veggies into your diet

But what do they taste like? Do they get mushy?

Actually if you’ve never cooked cucumbers, you’re missing out on the taste!

They become a whole different vegetable: Silky smooth, with a juicy, tender texture that still retains the right amount of crunch. Mmmm!

To help you try it, here are our 4 favorite simple recipes, easy to make, and easy to love. So when you have too many cucumbers to eat raw, or just want to try something new, give one of these easy recipes a try. You just might love your cukes cooked as much as we do!

   
#1 Bake or Roast Your Cucumbers   

From CSA member Christina:

“We tried roasted cucumbers. Toss with some butter and season salt and then liberally sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese and baked in the oven (along with our squash). Now we have a new favorite.”

Try it! So easy and delicious!

Basic Roasted Cucumbers

  • Cucumbers, peeled, seeded, cut lengthwise into strips and then cut again into 2-3” long pieces to make thick “matchsticks
  • Butter/olive oil/other cooking oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Other seasonings of choice like fresh herbs (parsley, dill, basil, scallions), or dried herbs/spices (red chili flakes, etc.)
  • Vinegar, optional
  • Onion, sliced, optional
  • Parmesan or other cheese, optional

Toss all ingredients in a bowl. Lay out on baking sheet and roast at 375 until soft. Cucumbers will not darken up so check for doneness by tasting and pricking. 30 minutes- 1 hour depending upon how thick they are cut. Turn 2-3 times to cook evenly.

Got big ones?  Try the Baked Stuffed Cucumber recipe on our recipe page HERE.  SO good!

 

#2 Stir-fry Your Cucumbers

Cucumbers are a secret ingredient in stir-fries! We recently made a stir-fry at home with cabbage, onion tops/scallions, and cucumbers! It was a big hit with the whole family and here’s the sauce Gene made to go on top. This could apply to any combo of veggies + cucumbers.

Basic Cucumber Stir-fry

  • Cooking oil
  • Cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • Other veggies of choice, chopped

For Farmer Gene's Asian Stir-fry sauce:

  • 4 TBLS olive oil
  • 4 TBLS apple cider vinegar
  • 1 TSP maple syrup (or to taste)
  • pinch of cayenne powder, or to taste
  • 2 TBLS soy sauce
  • ½ TSP fish sauce, optional
  • ½ TSP dried ginger (or use a little more fresh grated root)
  • ½ TSP garlic powder (or use 1 clove fresh, minced)

Heat oil in large skillet on medium-high. Add veggies and stir-fry until desired tenderness, about 5-10 minutes. Meanwhile mix sauce ingredients together and whisk until combined. Pour over stir-fry and serve. Check and adjust salt to taste. Mmmm!

  
#3 Sauté Your Cucumbers  

This is a quick and easy way to cook cucumbers! I love the way the flavor changes with just a few minutes of sautéing. Try it!

  • 2 medium cucumbers, peeled and seeded
  • 1 tbls butter
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tbls fresh dill, minced (or substitute other fresh herb)
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Sour cream (optional)

Slice the cucumber into ½” by ½” by 1” matchsticks. Heat butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add cucumbers and salt and sauté, stirring frequently until cucumbers begin to soften, 4-8 minutes. Check to see that they’re just tender not mushy. Remove from heat. Sprinkle with dill and black pepper. Serve hot topped with a spoonful of the optional sour cream.


#4 Soup Your Cucumbers

I recently made this soup for my in-laws and asked them to guess what was in it. They had no idea and the best thing they could come up with was potatoes! They loved it, as do we! Quick to make and easy to reheat, or eat cold.

Simple Cucumber Soup

  • 2 large cucumbers, peeled, seeded, chopped
  • ½ cup onion, minced
  • 1 ½ cup chicken broth
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chives, minced (optional garnish)

Combine cukes, onion and broth in a sauce pan and simmer for 20 minutes or until tender. Puree until smooth. Blend in sour cream, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Either chill and eat cold or serve warm immediately. Top with chives.

 

Okay, are you still afraid to cook your cukes?  I hope not and let me know if you try it!  

Like this blog post? Join our community email list below and get your free gift! 

Add new comment