Ingredient of the Month: Cucumber

Ingredient of the Month: Cucumber

Get to know the cucumber and find out how to keep this versatile food fresh.


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Why You’ll Love Cucumber
Its cooling, slightly melon-like taste makes the cucumber a refreshing treat. A member of the gourd and squash family, it’s delicately sweet and grassy in flavor with a juicy crunch. Because of its high water content, cucumber is naturally hydrating, plus a great source of vitamin C and potassium.

How to Tell if Cucumber is Fresh
Look for cucumber at your local farmer’s market. Choose a firm one with brightly colored skin, and avoid soft spots or shriveled skin. Thin-skinned cucumber is more flavorful than thick-skinned and waxed varieties, but be sure it is sealed in plastic, as it loses moisture more quickly.

Tip: Grow your own cucumbers and dill, then use the fresh produce to make crunchy pickles.

How & Where to Store Cucumber
To maintain freshness, store cucumber uncovered in the refrigerator. Wrap half-used cucumber tightly in plastic or place in a sealed container, then refrigerate. If stored at room temperature, it will quickly wilt and lose crunch. Cucumber tastes best when used within 2 days.

How to Pair Cucumber
Add sliced or chopped cucumber to salads and sandwiches, or julienne slices into matchsticks for fresh sushi rolls. Mix cucumber with cream cheese and use the mixture on pizza. Puree cucumbers with other fresh ingredients to create a creamy cool tzatziki sauce, perfect for topping gyros, or used as a dip served with pita crisps and vegetables.

Tip: Give ice water a flavorful, refreshing twist by adding a cucumber slices, or puree them with melon, mint and more to make a delightful spritzer.

How to Prep
Wash cucumbers before use, and peel waxed varieties. Before chopping, slicing or puree, cut in half lengthwise, then gently scoop out seeds with the tip of a spoon.

Recipe Idea
Beat the heat with a cucumber rich Greek Goddess salad, served as an entrée or side salad.

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