So now that the garden is in full bloom and you have fresh vegetables by the basketful, what are you going to do with all this bounty? This is Post 2 of my Garden Series and today’s vegetable is the cucumber.
My Oma always had several hills of cucumbers growing in her garden. She was a canner and liked to make her own pickles: sweet, dill, bread and butter. When I decided to plant a garden, I used my Oma’s as my inspiration not taking into consideration I don’t like pickles. Now I have all these cucumbers and as much as I love salads I have to find other ways to use the cucumbers. Today I am sharing Baked Ranch Cucumber Chips, Cucumber Dill Vegetable Dip, Creamy Cucumber Salad, and Vinegar and Oil Cucumbers.
I simply adore Chips! I mean I have a serious potato chip problem. I cannot bring them in the house for fear of eating the whole bag in one sitting. Cucumber Chips have been my saving grace. It gives me that salty crispy crunch without much oil and they are cucumbers so I can feel good about myself when eating them. In fact, the other day I had a potato chip and I was able to walk away. It just didn’t taste as good as I remembered. (Recipe following)
Another of my favs is a fresh and tasty Cucumber Dill Vegetable Dip. You use the cucumbers to make the dip and then you can use cucumbers to scoop up the dip. Win! Win! You can also use the dip as a salad dressing to stir into a bowl of fresh sliced cucumbers and red onion or as a sandwich spread. It blends so well with a caprese wrap. (Recipe following)
I grew up with a vinegar and oil cucumber salad that I would be remised if I did not mention it here. Admittedly it is not one of my favorites. I find it to be too sweet, but many others really enjoy this salad and it is a great way to use those cucumbers. I will provide the recipe as it is often prepared but, I often cut the sugar back and water down the vinegar. Occasionally I’ll substitute a rice vinegar. Play around to find what works for your taste. (Recipe following.)
Have ideas for cucumbers? I would love to know. Please use the comments to share. – Ella
Baked Ranch Cucumber Chips
• 2 medium cucumbers
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 2 teaspoons dry ranch dressing mix
• 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Slice 2 medium cucumbers into very thin slices. (Use a mandolin slicer if you have one.) Set in a bowl and cover with a paper plate. Lay a few heavy cans on top and let sit for an hour. Drain excess water from the bowl.
- Pat the cucumbers with a paper towel.
- Place cucumbers in a large bowl and toss with olive oil and ranch dressing.
- Place slices on parchment lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with sea salt.
- Place in a 175°F oven for 4 hours, or until crispy. Remove from oven and enjoy now or later!
Cucumber Dill Vegetable Dip
• 8 ounces mascarpone
• 4 ounces sour cream
• 1/4 cup diced cucumbers
• 1 tablespoon dill seed
• 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
• 1/4 teaspoon of a zesty seasoned salt (I like Andy’s)
• Salt and pepper, to taste
- Place all the ingredients into a food processor and pulse until smooth scraping the sides as needed.
- Transfer to a medium bowl and salt and pepper to taste.
- Place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and serve with cut vegetables.
Vinegar and Oil Cucumbers
• 4 cucumbers, sliced
• 1 large onion, sliced
• Salt and pepper, to taste
• 1 cup vegetable oil
• 1 cup vinegar
• 6 tablespoons sugar
• 1 tablespoon dill seed (optional)
- Working in layers, in a large bowl add a layer of cucumbers, onions, salt and pepper. Repeat until all the cucumber and onion slices are used. Cover with a paper plate. Lay a few heavy cans on top and let sit for an hour. Drain the excess water from bowl.
- In a medium bowl mix the oil, vinegar, sugar, and dill and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Pour over cucumbers and onions.
- Chill in the refrigerator until ready to eat.