With the loca(l)vore movement gaining momentum, you hear a lot these days about the virtues of fresh, farm- or garden-ripened tomatoes. I would like to take this moment to talk about fresh cucumbers. Cucumbers are certainly regarded as a fresh, summery item, but have you ever really stopped to savor a cucumber?
Despite what the plastic-wrapped English hothouse cucumbers are teaching people, a fresh cucumber really doesn’t last more than a few days, even in the fridge or the crisper. (Ding: that is why cucumbers are one of the most common pickled foods) Fresh cucumbers also have a startling amount of other subtle tastes past what we traditionally think of as being typical of the cucumber. And the crisp crunch of freshness is something that you can’t replicate by chilling your veggies in the fridge.
My favorite way to enjoy fresh summer cucumbers is in a greek salad with seasonal tomatoes. On its own as a lunch item or part of an entire Greek feast, this is a deliciously colorful summer dish, sure to perk you up when you are stuck inside.
Prep time: 5 minutes
- Two fresh cucumbers
- Four fresh mid-sized tomatoes or a medium/large box of cherry tomatoes
- 4 oz. pitted black olives
- 3 oz. crumbled feta (I use President brand, and I prefer the feta crumbled rather than cubed because then it mixes with the dressing to really coat the other ingredients)
- Olive oil
- 1 lemon
- Pepper grinder
- Chop cucumbers into thin rounds or one inch cubes and add to salad bowl.
- Cube tomatoes or cut the cherry tomatoes in halves and add to salad bowl.
- Add black olives and three tablespoons of olive oil to salad bowl.
- Juice the lemon into the salad bowl.
- Add 1 teaspoon of salt, 2 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper, and 2 teaspoon of dried oregano to the salad.
- Mix thoroughly and let stand for 10-15 minutes for flavors to melt.