Summer Harvest: Cucumbers

Check your cucumbers daily and harvest early. And if you're harvesting for pickling, make that even earlier! Remember that timing and length will vary with variety but overall, cucumbers are fast growers. 

The fruit should be firm and smooth. Over-ripe cucumbers can be very bitter or pithy, even before they start to turn yellow. If you're noticing a yellowed bottom on your cucumber, it's a sign that it's over-ripe so remove immediately. When cutting off the vine, use a knife or clippers and cut above the stem. Pulling may damage the vine. 

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Harvested cucumbers keep for up to 10 days in the refrigerator but use them ASAP for best flavor. (Keep reading for the perfect 2-step recipe to incorporate your harvest in!) The more you harvest off the vine, the more fruit you'll get. So get harvesting! 

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BASIL AND GARLIC CUCUMBER SALAD

Source:  Evan Bloom and Leo Beckerman, Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen. This recipe was demonstrated for CUESA’s Market to Table program on July 19, 2014.


Serves 6 to 8


INGREDIENTS


6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons good quality olive oil
3 tablespoons plain yogurt
2 cloves garlic, smashed
2 lemon cucumbers, quartered and sliced
1 serpent cucumber, sliced
3 tablespoons chopped basil leaves
1/8teaspoon salt
1/8teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


PREPARATION

1. In a small bowl, mix the lemon juice, olive oil, and yogurt with the
smashed garlic.
2. Add the cucumbers, basil, salt and pepper. Toss and serve.