It's cucumber season! I know you know how to cut a cucumber - if you can read a blog you for sure can cut a cucumber - but here's a fun way to spiral cut it to make your salad, cucumber and life a little more interesting.
Yes. This is where we are in life. At least this is where I am. I am now of the age where I have done all the traditional things that add excitement to life like white water rafting and eating foods past their expiry date. Now I must reinvent vegetable chopping as a form of entertainment.
So far from the garden I've been picking zucchini, broccoli, lettuces and a few beans. Tomatoes will be ready any second now and I harvested garlic last week.
My pickling cucumbers are starting to produce which means my english cucumbers will soon follow.
But when the cucumbers get to be picking size they're all going to come in at once and I won't know what to do with all of them. One girl only has so many uses for a cucumber.
You can pickle them, slice them, dice them and add them to a salad. But it gets boring. Which means one of two things. You can start whomping strangers waiting at the bus stop over the head with them, which would be loads of fun, or ... you can grab a potato peeler and have fun with them that way.
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Fun way to cut cucumbers
Come summertime even one cucumber plant produces enough to feed an entire neighbourhood. So ... there's always the threat of getting sick of cucumbers. Try this little trick to put the fun back in cucumbers.
As they say, you eat with your eyes first so if all you're doing is slapping together some lettuce, radishes and cucumbers you may as well fool everyone into thinking it's more than what it actually is. Even if it's just for yourself.
I don't do this all the time for just myself but most of the time I do. I serve and prepare my food all pretty-like. Why wouldn't you do this for yourself?
Just because one is living alone doesn't mean one has to slop their food onto a plate like they're living in an 18th century jailhouse. Unless you're having a theme night.
Now that I have you intensely interested in new and exciting ways to use your vegetables I feel compelled to delve further into the world of cucumbers. Stylistically speaking.
How do you cut cucumbers for dipping?
This is an issue I have. Most dipping vegetables come with a built in handle don't they? Cauliflower, broccoli, carrots and celery all have built in handles. They have stems or they're stiff enough to have a good enough grip that they won't slide out of your fingers while performing the very important SINGLE dip.
When in company, you know you cannot double dip. Even if you want to. So that first dip had better be epic. It has to provide you with enough dip to satisfy the entire hunk of vegetable you're dipping.
That's hard to do with a flimsy slice or stick of cucumber. So here is my advice for slicing cucumbers for dipping.
- Don't peel the cucumbers. The skin gives the cucumber some strength to power through even the thickest dip.
- For thick cucumbers, slice them across into rounds around ¼" thick.
- For smaller, or thinner cucumbers cut the cucumber into 3" lengths. Cut it in half lengthwise, then in half again so you have 4 equal sized quarters of cucumbers that are 3" long.
How do you cut a cucumber into thin slices?
The same way I show you here. With a vegetable peeler. But if that isn't giving you the desired effect put the peeler away and move over to the knife drawer.
Again, leave the cucumber skin on if you want thin slices but you aren't completely confident in your knife skills. Keeping the skin on prevents the knife from slipping and makes the cucumber less mushy when slicing.
Use a sharp knife. A chef's knife with a wide blade will make the job easier than trying to use a small knife. With a wide knife you'll make it through the vegetable in one pass while using a small knife with a narrow blade will make it feel like you need to saw through the cucumber. That will make an ugly, uneven slice. The kind of slice they'd serve in that 18th century prison.
But the BEST way to thinly slice a cucumber (or anything) is to use a mandolin. This is the one I have and I don't like it. It was supposed to be the absolute greatest mandolin in the world! The best! The very best! It's kind of awful.
The blades are so thin they're flexible so if you put any extra pressure on it you end up with thicker slices than you want. The blades are embedded into plastic that isn't level with the steel blade so the cuts aren't smooth and the thing is huge. So don't buy this mandolin. It's almost $100 and just doesn't work well.
My mothers antique mandolin that has zero safety features on the other hand works great. But they don't sell anything like it anymore what with the zero safety features.
This is the best reviewed mandolin on Amazon, so if you're looking for one it's probably a good choice and half the price of the one I bought.
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