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- 4 cups 1/2-inch pieces peeled, seeded cucumber
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1/2 teaspoon matcha green tea powder
In a blender, purée cucumber to a fine pulp. Add lime juice, green tea powder, and salt. Season with more salt and lime juice, if desired. Transfer to a large metal baking pan and freeze until solid.
Using the tines of a fork, scrape into fine shards. Spoon over fresh raw oysters or scallops.
Nutritional ContentOne serving contains: Calories (kcal) 5 Fat (g) 0 Saturated Fat (g) 0 Cholesterol (mg) 0 Carbohydrates (g) 1 Dietary Fiber (g) 0 Total Sugars (g) 0 Protein (g) 0 Sodium (mg) 30Reviews Section
Ingredient Spotlight: Cucumbers
Although many varieties are available all year round, cucumbers are at their sweetest and crunchiest during the summer months. Whether you’re pickling them or tossing them into fresh salads, here’s how to choose, store and prep cucumbers so they taste their best. Try our tips, then learn some new ways to use cucumbers this season from the Williams-Sonoma Test Kitchen.
Cucumbers: Everything You Need to Know
What to Look For
More often than not, you’ll be choosing cucumbers for salads and other cold preparations. If this is the case, be on the lookout for slender, dark green specimens without yellowed or shriveled skins.
Most cucumbers are slicing cucumbers—the kind used for chilled preparations. Common garden varieties of slicing cucumbers should be 8 to 10 inches long and 1 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter at the center. If you can, avoid cucumbers coated with wax: their skin must be peeled, and with the skin goes the vitamin A. You’ll also find hothouse cucumbers, also known as English cucumbers, which are often sold wrapped in plastic. They are around 12 to 16 inches long and boast thin, smooth skin.
Unless the skin is waxed, there’s no need to peel cucumbers. (Check for wax by scraping the cucumber with a fingernail.) Pickling cucumbers should be scrubbed with a vegetable brush under cold running water to remove loose spines. Cucumbers may be seeded for stuffing or before slicing crosswise for a salad. To seed a cucumber, first slice it in half lengthwise, then use a melon baller or spoon to scoop out the seeds and the surrounding pulp. Proceed with stuffing or place the cucumber flat side down on a cutting board and slice crosswise.
Store cucumbers in a perforated plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to five days. Do not put cucumbers in the coldest part of the refrigerator they prefer temperatures just above 40°F (the temperature of most refrigerators). Sliced cucumbers will keep refrigerated in a covered container for two days.
Your Cucumber Toolkit
- , to make long ribbons of cucumber and other spices for making quick, easy pickles , for thinly slicing cucumbers , to puree cucumbers into soups and sauces , for peeling cucumbers and creating ribbons , for slicing and dicing
Cucumbers are perfect for refreshing summer salads, tossed with simple vinaigrettes, creamy dressings or tangy yogurt. Diced and cooked briefly in sauces, they become a delicate foil for fish and seafood. They are popular for pickling and also delicious additions to chilled soups. Below are a few choice preparations—no recipe required.
Quick Pickles: Combine white vinegar with a generous spoonful of pickling spices, sugar (if desired) and salt and bring to a boil. Pour mixture over sliced cucumbers. Let cool, then refrigerate up to 1 week.
Gazpacho: In a blender, puree peeled and seeded English cucumber, garlic, red onion, avocado, olive oil, lime juice and cilantro. Thin with vegetable stock as desired and season with salt and pepper.
Cucumber, Tomato & Red Onion Salad: Whisk together minced garlic, chopped fresh mint, lemon juice, olive oil and salt. Toss peeled, seeded and diced cucumber, halved cherry tomatoes and thinly sliced red onion with the dressing.
Tea Sandwiches: Whip cream cheese with fresh dill and lemon juice. Spread on white or pumpernickel bread. Using a mandoline, thinly slice cucumber lengthwise. Arrange on cream cheese, cut sandwiches into triangles and garnish with dill sprigs.
Asian Cucumber Salad: Using a vegetable spiralizer with the straight blade or a mandoline, slice cucumbers lengthwise into thin ribbons. Toss with rice vinegar, sesame oil, salt and toasted sesame seeds.
Tzatziki: Stir together peeled, seeded and diced cucumber with Greek yogurt, minced garlic, lemon juice and chopped fresh dill and mint. Season with salt and serve with grilled pita.
For a jolt of healthy greens, start your day with a cucumber-kale smoothie . Our test kitchen’s version uses a mixture of lemon juice and lemonade for bright, zingy flavor.
Crab and cucumber canapés are everything you’d want in an appetizer: They’re fast and easy to make, impressive, refreshing, elegant and light (and they also happen to be grain-free). use the freshest crabmeat you can find.
An easy cucumber-yogurt mixture is the highlight of this weeknight slow-cooker salmon dish . It’s a mixture of yogurt and cucumber with aromatics like shallot, dill, parsley and cumin for plenty of punch.
Cucumber’s so cooling that it deserves a starring role in a slushy summer granita . If you like, infuse a handful of chopped mint into the mixture when boiling the water, then strain it out before transferring the mixture to the blender with the cucumber.
The combination of cucumber and lime juice is a refreshing alternative to sweeter cocktails. To create the cucumber ribbon for garnishing our Cucumber Cooler , pull a vegetable peeler lengthwise down the cucumber, then line it inside of your glass.
What are your favorite ways to enjoy this summer favorite? Share ’em with us in the comments below.
1 Cucumber-Lime Granita Recipe.
I have a confession to make, before finding this cucumber recipe I have never heard of granita before, shocking, I know! So it seems that granita is just frozen fruit juices or in this case, frozen veggie juices. You blend the fruit to get the juice, pour it in a glass baking pan, freeze it for a few hours, scrape it to get the icy, chunky texture, freeze it for a few more hours, and then presto chango, you have yourself a cucumber-lime granita!
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 1/2 cup water
• 2 cucumbers
• 2 limes, freshly squeezed
• Line shallow dish with parchment paper. In 2-quart saucepan, beat sugar and water with whisk until blended. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to medium-low simmer until mixture becomes a thin syrup. Cool.
• Remove most of peel from cucumbers. With spoon, scoop out seeds. Chop cucumber into cubes.
• In blender, place cucumbers, lime juice and syrup. Cover blend until smooth. Pour into dish. Cover freeze 2 to 3 hours or until completely frozen.
• Rake fork through mixture. Serve immediately, or return granita to freezer until ready to serve.
Cucumber Lime Granita
In a small saucepan, add the sugar and water. Swirl the pan to mix. Then bring to a boil on medium-high heat. Reduce to medium-low and simmer for 2 minutes to make a thin syrup. Take the pan off the heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
Now is a good time to zest and juice your limes. Then, using a peeler, peel the cucumber, cut off the ends and slice the cucumber in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds using a melon baller or a spoon. Chop the cucumber into smallish cubes until you have 2 cups.
Add to a blender the cucumber, lime juice, half the zest, salt, and 1/3 cup of syrup. Puree until it is nice and smooth. Pour into a shallow dish, cover and stick it in the freezer for 2 1/2 hours.
Remove the dish from the freezer, uncover and rake a fork through the mixture. Recover and return to the freezer for another 1–2 hours. Repeat the raking/freezing process every 1–2 hours until you are left with nothing but tiny ice crystals.
Serve in chilled glass vessels of your choice. Garnish with the remaining lime zest.
How to make fruit granita
Need an icy refresher for summer? Lisa Featherby shows how to make this fruity dessert, step by step.
A note on sugar:
Natural sugars in fruits mean that each fruit requires a different amount of added sweetness. Highly acidic juice, such as lemon or lime, will need a decent amount of sugar, while a sweeter fruit, like pineapple, won’t need as much.
Sugar loses its sweetness when frozen, so make sure to taste the mixture before freezing, keeping in mind that it will be duller when finished. That said, too much sugar will create a soft granita that seeps syrup, so add sugar in small quantities, tasting as you go. Fruits that are high in fructose, such as mangoes, work better as sorbet rather than granita.
Fruits that can be juiced (citrus, passionfruit) or which make a thin purée (melons, plums) are preferable to fruits that produce a thick nectar (stone fruit, bananas). Cucumber juice makes a refreshing granita and that requires very little sugar.
Cool Is a Cucumber
GREEN PARTY | Clockwise from far left: Vietnamese Bread Salad Cucumber Ceviche With Scallops and Shrimp Cucumber and Buttermilk Soup.
FOR MANY FARMERS' MARKET scavengers, the first crops of peaches, peppers and tomatoes announce the official arrival of summer. For me, nothing tastes like the season as much as a cucumber.
What flavor, you ask? Aren't cucumbers bland and, at best, a sponge for pickle brine? Not if you venture beyond the waxy, thick-skinned (or cellophane-wrapped, so-called "seedless") varieties at the grocery store. At their best, cucumbers have a bright, melony taste (cucumbers and melons are cousins) that is somewhere between fruity and vegetal, and that can be worked into any stage of a meal, from drinks to dessert.
At the greenmarket, I load my bags with whatever young, thin-skinned cucumbers I can find while chuckling at their funny varietal names, many of which sound like vegetable superheroes: White Wonder, Slice Master, Dasher II. At home, I never get around to pickling my cucumbers (these days there are too many artisans and urban homesteaders who do a much better job). Instead, I'll create entire meals around them, primarily using no-cook techniques that don't threaten to overheat my kitchen.
I've assembled a few recipes that show off the cucumber's greatest assets. Its cooling, melony flavor marries with avocado and tangy buttermilk in a chilled soup that's as refreshing as a lake on a mid-July afternoon. I love the juicy crunch that cucumbers add to a bread salad dressed with the sweet, sour and funky flavors of Vietnamese cooking. That crunch also plays well with fish in ceviche and in a lemony pasta salad. It co-stars—in long, tender ribbons—in another salad with herbed pesto.
When I'm finished preparing these dishes, I'll juice any leftover cucumbers (and their scraps) for mixing into Pimm's Cups and other gin-based cocktails, then sweeten and freeze the remaining juice into granita for dessert.
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Treat your guests to a refreshing iced granita – perfect for a summer dinner party. We've got sweet, fruity and savoury versions of this frozen Italian dessert.
Strawberry & mint granita
This light frozen dessert is smooth and slushy, like those from the east of Italy - a perfect palate cleanser to finish a dinner party menu
Wow your party guests with this easy, light dessert and after-dinner coffee all rolled into one. It's a lovely end to any meal and a cooling treat in summer
3 ingredient cucumber sorbet
The beauty of this cucumber sorbet lies in its simplicity. It only requires three ingredients: cucumber, lemon juice, and sugar.
If you can find seedless cucumbers, go for it. Otherwise, simply scoop out the seeds like in the photo above.
Don’t be alarmed by the amount of sugar in this recipe. Sugar content is a key factor in sorbet making. Too little sugar, you’ll end up with an icy sorbet that’s more like a granita. Too much sugar and the sorbet won’t freeze properly.
The role of sugar in sorbet:
In culinary school, we used a refractometer to measure the sugar content in our purees for sorbets. We were also taught the egg test in which you place a clean egg into the fruit puree to see how far the egg sinks into the liquid.
It’s all very technical and scientific as sorbets need a certain amount of sugar to freezer properly. The amount of sugar determines the size of ice crystals that will form- meaning whether your sorbet will be coarse or creamy.
I had so much fun making this cucumber sorbet that I’ve decided to make an entire series of fruit sorbets this summer. Best of all, I’ll be using the sorbets to make boozy floats.
Use this homemade cucumber sorbet to make these cucumber gin and tonic floats! Perfect for pool side lounging or happy hour with friends!
Granita is perfect for a summer day. This recipe is simple and refreshing. It involves starting with a syrupy base that's frozen and scraping it until fluffy. This is a tangy granite recipe. Cucumber and lemon are a strange combination for a dessert, but they go together so well when frozen. Cucumbers keep the body rehydrated and when frozen it give a pleasant feel.
1. Peel the cucumber and the celery and place them in the juicer. Add the vinegar, honey and lime juice to the juice. Season with cayenne salt and pepper.
2. Place in the freezer in a flat dish and drag a fork through it every 15 minutes. Garnish with some mint to highlight the freshness of the granita
The fresh acids will neutralise your taste buds with just three spoonfuls of the ice-cold granita so that you can perfectly enjoy the next course.