Summer Fest: Cucumber Recipes

Week three of our season-long garden party Summer Fest 2011 welcomes food and garden bloggers to feature garden-to-table recipes and tips. We’ll help you to enjoy all that this season has to offer. So far, we've delved into eggplants and peaches. This week we're getting creative with: cucumbers. Water-rich and crunchy cukes are the perfect light summer veggie. We've seen them in salads all year long but with summer's best in season right now, you can use them in pretty much every part of your meal.
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06_Cucumber_Gimlet_053_.tif

Food stylist: Jamie Kimm Prop Stylist: Marina Malchin

Photo by: Con Poulos

Con Poulos

It's week three of our season-long garden party, Summer Fest 2011, where we welcome food and garden bloggers to feature garden-to-table recipes and tips. We’ll help you to enjoy all that this season has to offer. So far, we've delved into eggplants and peaches. This week we're getting creative with cucumbers.

Water-rich and crunchy cukes are the perfect cool-down veggie for hot days. We've seen them in salads all year long but with summer's best in season right now, you can use them in pretty much every part of your meal.

Start with Sandra's five-ingredient Cucumber Yogurt Dip that marinates cucumbers in sour cream, yogurt and Greek seasonings.  Serve it with pita chips or, yes, more cucumber slices. You can also try Aarti's Indian-inspired version with fresh mint and make Cucumber Raita.

Cucumbers are a great alternative to crackers or bread. Try topping English cucumbers with smoked salmon and cream cheese like Ellie's Cucumber Cups With Creamy Salmon Whip or Sandra's Shrimp-Stuffed Cucumber Cups.

Feature cucumbers in creamy, cold summer soups. On the sweet side is Tyler's Cold Summer Soup that combines cucumbers and honeydew melon. On the savory side is Emeril's Cold Cucumber Soup that features tarragon and cayenne pepper.

You can even have your cucumbers and drink them, too. Try Bobby's vodka-based Cucumber Cocktail, Guy's Cucumber Margarita or Food Network Magazine's gin-based Cucumber Gimlets (pictured above).

Have a few slices left over? Some say they're great for your skin and reduce redness. Whether you choose to eat them or lay them over your puffy eyes, be sure to pick them up at your local market.

Talk to us: What’s your favorite way to eat a cucumber? Tell us in the comments or join the conversation on Twitter at #cookingwith.

More cucumber recipes from family and friends:
What’s Gaby Cooking: Cucumber-Basil Gimlet
In Jennie’s Kitchen: Radish-Cucumber Crostini
Grecian Kitchen: Summer Cucumber Salad
Cooking With My Kid: Cucumber Limeade
Healthy Eats: Cool Cucumber Soup
CIA Dropout: Relishing Cucumbers
Food for 7 Stages of Life: Cucumber Cherry Salsa
Cooking With Elise: Green Tea Cucumber Pops
Virtually Homemade: Cold Thai Cucumber-Mint Soup
Daydreamer Desserts: Cubanita Margarita
Sweet Life Bake: Agua de Pepino
Zaika Zabardast: Cucumber Gazpacho
Cooking with Books: Summer Fest: Cucumbers
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