web analytics

Archive | cucumber RSS feed for this section

Bread and Butter Pickles

bread & butter pickles by The Culinary ChaseIf you were to come to my home with a hostess gift of homemade pickles in tow, I’d be the happiest chick in town! I used to make my own but our family size has shrunk (empty nesters) and I really don’t want to have to store jars and jars of preserves and condiments. This recipe for bread and butter pickles needs no special canning tools or ingredients. And, the quantity is just the right size for us!  I’ve always wondered where did the term bread and butter pickles come from?  After surfing the internet, two plausible answers emerge.  One, it seems, originated during the Depression years when there was little in the cupboard (they were used as a filling for a sandwich) and another came from a man who sold pickles at a roadside stand and the income produced from the sales was his bread and butter (apocryphal).  Even if none of these explanations are true, one thing that is true is that these pickles are super easy to make and taste delicious!

Makes 4 cups
adapted from Recipe Girl

1 lb. little cucumbers, sliced
1 1/2 tablespoons sea salt
3/4 cup white sugar
1 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar (packed)
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon celery seeds
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric

mini cucumbers by The Culinary ChaseCombine cucumber slices and salt in a bowl; cover and chill 1 1/2 hours.  Toss cucumbers into a colander and rinse thoroughly under cold water. Drain well, and return cucumbers to a bowl.

Add sugar and remaining ingredients in a medium saucepan and simmer over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Pour hot vinegar mixture over cucumbers and let stand at room temperature 1 hour. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate 24 hours before consuming (if you can wait that long!).

The Culinary Chase’s Note: These were just what I needed and I didn’t need to wait until Fall to make them.  Store in the refrigerator for up to a month.  Enjoy!

Melon and Cucumber Salad

melon & cucumber saladAccording to The Oxford Companion to Food, salad is a term derived from the Latin sal (salt), which yielded the form salata, ‘salted things’ such as the raw vegetables eaten in classical times with a dressing of oil, vinegar, or salt.   In the medieval period, salads composed of green leaves, sometimes with flowers.  Later, at least in England, fruits such as orange and lemon were added.  Melons and cucumbers go well together as they are part of the gourd family and are available now at farmers’ markets.   An easy dish to whip up and the flavors won’t disappoint.  This is melon and cucumber salad is a perfect recipe to help cool down when the mercury soars!

Serves 4

melon, trimmed and chopped into bite-size pieces
small English cucumber, washed and sliced
handful red grapes, cut in half
poppy seeds
olive oil
fresh lime juice
fresh mint, sliced

In a bowl, gently toss melon, cucumber, mint and grapes. Squeeze half a lime over the melon mixture and toss. Add a splash of olive oil and toss to combine. When ready to serve sprinkle over with poppy seeds.

The Culinary Chase’s Note: Season the salad with salt and pepper and adjust lime juice accordingly.  Be careful not to add too much oil as there’s plenty of juice from the melon and grapes.  Enjoy!