36 Refreshing Cucumber Recipes That Aren’t All Salads
Cucumber recipes are a staple during summertime because they’re so, so refreshing. And for good reason: The veggie is roughly 95% water, so it’s no wonder that recipes that feature cucumbers really hit the spot when temperatures heat up.
Because of its quench factor, cucumbers often take center stage in lots of salad recipes. But that certainly doesn’t mean that cucumbers have no use elsewhere. In fact, the cool, crisp, and ridiculously hydrating vegetable is much more versatile than it’s given credit for.
Its mild flavor pairs well with just about any assortment of ingredients, from sweet to savory. And that high water content makes it a natural fit for beverages like cocktails and infused waters. You’ll find that the water-rich veggie is great blended into sweet smoothies, frozen into a thirst-quenching, icy desserts, submerged in vinegar for crunchy, future pickles, or simply chopped raw for a quick and crisp sandwich topping.
There are even a handful of cooked cucumber dishes that buck the belief that this vegetable can only be eaten raw. When prepared over heat, the cucumber’s water begins to evaporate, leaving behind a finished product that tastes of pure, concentrated, cucumber flavor.
Unsure what to do? Try wrapping the vegetable in aluminum foil and throwing in on the grill a quick and tasty barbecue side dish; roast it low and slow with a bunch of olive oil for a decadent confit; or leave it raw and use it in a whole host of healthy salads. Basically, there’s no wrong way to put cukes to work.
The next time you’re wondering what to make with cucumbers, these 36 recipes have you covered. They include dishes that take advantage of the vegetable’s crunchy texture—like quick pickles, sushi bowls, and spring rolls—as well as plenty of others that will help you experiment with the ingredient in unexpected ways. Because, as much as we love a cucumber salad, there are so many bright green gazpachos, stir-fries, sandwiches, and smoothies that await.
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