Good quality cucumbers should be firm, well-shaped and have an even dark green color and uniform size. Cucumbers may be treated with an edible wax to prevent moisture loss and enhance appearance. Avoid cucumbers that are shriveled, yellow in color or have soft spots.

Stuffed Cucumbers


-2 cucumbers

-1/2 lb ground beef or Italian sausage

-1/2 cup bread crumbs

-1 or 2 cloves garlic, crushed

-1 egg

-1 can or jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce

-4 slices of Provolone or Swiss cheese (or use enough crumbled blue cheese to cover)


Peel cucumbers and cut in half, lengthwise. Scrape away seeds with a spoon. Mix meat, breadcrumbs, garlic and egg. Fill cucumber “boats” with this mixture. Place in microwave dish and pour tomato sauce over the stuffed cucumbers. Cover each with a slice of cheese. (Select cheese according to desired degree of tangyness. If sauce already contains Parmesan cheese you may wish to omit the cheese.) Cover dish, and microwave on 80% power for five minutes. Turn dish 1/2 turn and repeat. Test cucumbers with a fork fore doneness. If they appear too hard, cook another 5 minutes on 80%.

Feta, Cucumber and Spinach Pita Sandwiches


-1 cup plain nonfat yogurt

-1 garlic clove, minced

-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

-1 cup coarsely chopped English hothouse cucumber

-1/4 cup chopped drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes

-2 tablespoons chopped green onion

-2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

-1 tablespoon olive oil

-1 6-ounce package baby spinach

-2/3 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 3 ounces)

-4 pita breads, cut crosswire in half


Mix yogurt, garlic and cayenne in small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill.) Mix cucumber, sun-dried tomatoes, green onion, mint, vinegar and oil in large bowl. Stir in spinach and feta cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let stand while preparing pita bread. Preheat oven to 350F. Wrap pita breads in foil. Place in oven until heated through, about 10 minutes. Fill pita halves with cucumber mixture. Spoon some of yogurt dressing into each pita half. Serve, passing remaining yogurt dressing separately.

Zesty Gazpacho


-4 tomatoes, sliced

-1/2 onion, peeled, sliced

-1/2 green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and sliced

-1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded and sliced

-1/2 cup water

-1/2 cup tomato juice

-2 tablespoons fresh parsley

-2 tablespoons olive oil

-2 tablespoons vinegar

-2 cloves garlic, peeled

-1 teaspoon salt

-1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

-1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

-1/8 teaspoon liquid hot pepper sauce


In a blender or food processor, combine tomatoes, onion, bell pepper, cucumber, water, tomato juice, parsley, olive oil, vinegar, garlic, salt, Worcestershire sauce, black pepper and liquid hot pepper sauce. Blend well, about 15 seconds. Serve chilled. Garnish with parsley or cucumber slices, if desired.

Cucumber Salad with Spicy Wasabi Dressing


-1 1/2 Tsp. dry wasabi (or to taste)

-2 cucumbers

-2 Tbs. rice wine vinegar

-2 Tsp. sugar

-1 Tsp. sesame oil

-Salt and freshly ground black pepper

-1 green onion or 2 scallions, thinly sliced

-1 Tbs. black or toasted white sesame seeds


Mix the wasabi with 1/2 teaspoon warm water in the bottom of a mixing bowl and let it stand for 5 minutes. Peel the cucumbers, cut each one in half lengthwise, and use a melon baler or spoon to scoop out the seeds. Cut the cucumbers widthwise into 1/4-inch crescents. Add vinegar and sugar to the wasabi and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the sesame oil, salt, and pepper. Just before serving, add the cucumbers, green onion, and sesame seeds to the dressing and mix well.

Chicken in Cucumber & Lemon Sauce


-2 large cucumbers, peeled, halved, appox. 4 cups (less is bad, more is fine)

-7 tbs. butter

-1/2 c flour

-1/8 tsp pepper

-6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (or any skinless, boneless chicken)

-1 tsp olive oil

-1 c chicken stock

-1 c whipping cream

-2 tbs. plus 1 tsp fresh lemon juice

-2 tbs. minced dill


Place cucumbers in colander. Sprinkle with salt, toss, and let drain 1 hr. Pat cucumbers dry. Melt 3 tbs. butter in heavy 1g skillet over medium heat. Add cucumbers and saute until light brown, about 7 min. Set aside. In small cup, mix 1 tbs. flour and 1 tbs. butter to smooth paste, set aside. Place remaining c flour in shallow baking dish with pepper and season with salt. Coat chicken and shake off excess. Melt remaining 3 tbs. butter with oil in another heavy large skillet over high heat. Add chicken and saute until brown. Add 1/2 cup stock. Reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer until chicken is cooked through (about 4 minutes). Transfer chicken to platter. Add remaining 1/2 cup stock to chicken skillet. Increase heat to high and boil until reduced to 1/4 cup (about 3 minutes). Add cream & bring to boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer until thickened to sauce consistency (about 2 minutes), stirring frequently. Stir in lemon juice and 1 tbs. dill. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add chicken and cucumbers to sauce, heat through. Transfer to plates. Spoon sauce & cucumbers over chicken. Sprinkle with tbs. dill.

Poached Salmon with Cucumber Sauce


-1/3 c plain yogurt

-1/4 c cucumber, finely chopped

-2 tbs. parsley, chopped

-1 c water

-1 tsp. chicken bouillon cube

-1 tbs. vinegar

-1 sm. Onion, sliced

-1 sm. Piece bay leaf

-1 parsley sprig

-1/2 tsp. dill weed dry or sprig fresh

-2 peppercorns or pinch pepper

-2 sm. Salmon steaks, 3/4″ thick


Peel, seed and chop cucumber. Combine with yogurt and parsley and refrigerate. Heat water to boiling in small skillet or medium saucepan. Add bouillon and stir until dissolved. Add remaining ingredients except salmon and bring to a boil. Turn heat to medium-low and simmer 5 min. Add salmon, cover and simmer 6-8 min or until fish is cooked through (check at backbone). Lift steaks out onto hot platter with an egg turner. Lift onions out and lay over fish. Serve immediately with chilled yogurt-cucumber mixture.