Cool as a Cucumber

Ahh, cucumbers. Maybe you call them pepinos or cukes. Or perhaps you're just cool as a cucumber. No matter, it's the time of year when cucumbers of all varieties, colors, shapes and sizes are popping up at the farmers market.

These Indian cucumbers may be one of the best cucumbers I have ever eaten. I kid you not. Yellow skinned, crisp, not the least bit bitter and even sweet, dare I say, these are my new favorite thing.

Alternatively, you could opt for the Algerian cucumber, pictured on the left. Similar to the English cucumber, also known as a hot house cuke, there are hardly any seeds.

Feel like making pickles? Look no further than these lovely pickling cucumbers.

And if you are not even the slightest bit courageous, you can have the good ole slicing cucumbers, pictured on the right.

Considering that cucumbers are 95% water, they are very thirst-quenching. (On really hot days, I add thinly sliced cucumbers and mint to a glass of ice water. It totally dresses it up into something novel and everyone always wants more!) If you prefer an adult beverage, try this mango-cucumber wine cooler.

Cucumbers really can be a versatile veggie. I love a cold cucumber soup and cucumber salad with red onions, tomatoes, white wine vinegar and olive oil is one of my summer stand-bys, though this Israeli cucumber salad is another option.

My grandmother always made my all-time favorite cucumber sandwiches--shredded cucumber mixed with cream cheese spread onto fresh slices of thin white Pepperidge Farm bread. She would cut the crusts off and cut into tea-style sandwiches.

However, this new dish may have assumed the number one spot. At least for right now. All you need is a few cukes, a ripe pineapple and a few other miscellaneous items from the fridge and I bet you'll be in love, just like I am with this pineapple-cucumber gazpacho.

Buen provecho!

Pineapple-Cucumber Gazpacho
The Cowgirl Gourmet sampled this dish while strolling around Whole Foods Market

Print recipe

I am a gazpacho freak, so it was no surprise that I feel in love with this pineapple-cucumber gazpacho the minute I sampled it at Whole Foods. Sweet, cold, refreshing with just a hint of jalapeno. Topped with some crushed nuts and cilantro. This soup was given the thumbs-up by both David and I!

Serves 6-8

3 cups freshly pineapple, chopped
3 cups cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 1/2 cups pineapple juice
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon lime juice
1 jalapeno, halved and seeded
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions, just the white part
2 Tablespoons finely chopped nuts, such as macadamia or cashews or 2 Tablespoons of raw pumpkin seeds
2 Tablespoons finely chopped cilantro

In a blender, place the pineapple, cucumber, pineapple juice, lime juice, jalapeno and salt and puree until smooth. Add green onions and puree just until combined.

Transfer soup to a big bowl or container, cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours. When ready, ladle soup into bowls and garnish with nuts and cilantro.

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