Saturday, August 11, 2012

Cucumbers 3 Ways

Cucumbers are so plentiful this time of year that I find myself wanting to find more and more ways to use them. One of my favorites is a simple sweet salad. Another favorite is a creation of my 11 year old son, Gerald.  The third way is a super refreshing cucumber water that is as easy as it sounds.
Gerald's Kale, Cucumber, Tomato Salad
3 medium cucumbers sliced-4-6 smaller ones
2 cups of kale chopped-you could use Swiss Chard as well
3 Roma tomatoes chopped or a handful of cherry tomatoes cut in half
1 small onion chopped
Italian Vinaigrette-He uses Good Seasons dry mix with half red wine vinegar- half malt vinegar
 Mix cucumbers, kale, onions, and tomatoes pour vinaigrette over and stir well. Can be chilled or served immediately.  

Asian Cucumber Salad                       
4 cups of sliced cucumbers
1 small onion chopped
1 pepper sliced-any color-optional
1 hot pepper finely diced-optional
1/2 cup Asian Ponzu or your favorite vinegar
1/2 cup sugar

Stir Ponzu or vinegar and sugar until sugar is dissolved. Pour over cucumbers and stir well. Cover and refrigerate for several hours, or overnight. That's it!! The hot peppers are optional, but do add an unexpected twist. If you are unfamiliar with Ponzu it is an Asian citrus marinade that features the Sudachi fruit. I buy it at Woo's Oriental Market in Ft. Wayne. I buy the clear Ponzu, there is a type that is mixed with soy sauce but I prefer the other.

Cucumber Water
1 Cucumber sliced
1 lemon sliced
1 pitcher of water

Add cucumbers and lemons to the water and add ice to fill. Spa water at home! Add a splash of seltzer for a bubbly effect. Perfect for hanging out at the pool, or for drinking after an afternoon of mowing, or for sipping on the porch swing enjoying a cool evening. I sometimes add a spring of rosemary or mint or both! Enjoy!  

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