Recipes

CUCUMBER "NOODLE" GINGER SALAD

This is a delicious & refreshing summer side dish. 

2 cucumbers 
2 tablespoons rice vinegar 
2 teaspoons sesame oil 
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes 
1/2 teaspoon sugar 
1 teaspoon soy sauce 
1/4 teaspoon grated ginger 
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds, to garnish 

Peel cucumber and discard skin. Continue using peeler, making long, lengthwise cuts to make ‘noodles’. Peel, rotating cucumber until you reach the core of seeds. Discard seeds. Drain noodles in a colander while preparing dressing. Whisk all other ingredients together. Squeeze noodles to get rid of excess moisture. Toss with dressing and garnish with sesame seeds. Serve immediately.

TZATZIKI

Truly a wonderful Greek accompaniment to many meals, especially meats, or as a dip for veggies and pita bread. Strained yogurt may be found at Greek groceries and specialty shops, or use the method below. Adjust the amount of garlic to taste.

32 ounces plain yogurt
1 large cucumber, peeled and shredded
5 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt to taste 

Place a cheese cloth over a medium bowl and strain the yogurt 6 hours in the refrigerator, or over night. Drain as much excess liquid from the cucumber and garlic as possible. In a large bowl, mix together the yogurt, cucumber, garlic, vinegar, olive oil and salt. Stir until a thick mixture has formed.

CUCUMBER AND AVOCADO SOUP WITH TOMATO AND BASIL SALAD

1 large cucumber, peeled, diced (about 2 1/2 cups) 
2 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 avocado, quartered, pitted, peeled
4 tablespoons chopped red onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup seeded chopped tomato
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
4 tablespoons plain nonfat yogurt

Combine cucumber and buttermilk in blender. Chop 1/4 of avocado; set aside for salad. Cut remaining avocado into chunks. Add avocado to blender; then add 2 tablespoons red onion and 1 tablespoon basil. Blend until very smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Cover; refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour. Mix reserved avocado, remaining 2 tablespoons onion and 1 tablespoon basil, tomato and lime juice in small bowl. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover soup and tomato salad separately and refrigerate.) Ladle cucumber soup into 4 bowls. Dollop each with 1 tablespoon yogurt; top with tomato salad and serve.

PICKLED CUCUMBERS

1 large cucumber
1/2 cup white-wine vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint leaves
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Cut cucumber crosswise into very thin slices (preferably using a manual slicer). In a bowl whisk together remaining ingredients until sugar is dissolved and add cucumber, tossing to coat. Marinate cucumbers, covered and chilled, stirring occasionally, 4 hours.