Farm Fresh Pick of the Week: Cucumbers

Friday, March 2, 2012 14:43

Delicious, Crisp, & Functional

by: Casey Pukl

Ah, the cucumber. Good raw, pickled, or grilled, this wonder veggie is both incredibly easy to digest and contains plenty of vitamin k! (Side note: Vitamin K helps your blood coagulate regularly, helps build strong bones, and also prevents calcification of the arteries). Their flavor is incredibly mild which makes it a great complement to many bolder flavors. What more could you ask for?

This week, Sous Chef Kristen Williams, offered up her favorite spring recipe (and recent Anthology menu special), Cucumber Gazpacho. Not only is the presentation of this cold soup eye-catching, but the flavors will certainly catch the attention of your palate.

To make Kristen’s Cucumber Gazpacho, you’ll need 2 medium size cucumbers peeled, cilantro, basil, 1 avocado, red onion, garlic, lemon juice, lime juice, and orange juice. Just chop all of the ingredients up, add the liquid, and blend! The texture should be that of a creamy soup or melted ice cream.

For that extra zing, top with soup with some small pieces of smoked trout, fried (or baked) chick peas, and micro basil. Sprinkle a bit of pink Himalayan salt on top, and you’re done! While I’ll be the first to admit I was hesitant about a cold soup, this dish is incredibly tasty and satisfying. The leftover chick peas also make for a great snack!

Beverage manager, Marc Canzoneri, also had some fantastic ideas for cucumber based drinks. I’m sure when you read the headline of today’s article, you may have done a double-take at the word “functional”. Well, here’s why!

One of Marc’s creative ways to use cucumbers involves using them to be the actual vessel for the drink! How cool is that? These cucumber shot glasses not only look great, but were extra tasty following the Cucumber Melon shot inside! To make the shot, simply combine Midori or any melon flavored liqueur with cucumber flavored vodka, shake, and strain into your cucumber shot glasses.

Pro-tip: Cucumbers are porous, so these shots are meant to be consumed as soon as they’re made! The liquid will leak from the bottom if they’re left out for longer than 5-10 minutes. If you’re making these for a party, you can cut your cucumber cups in advance, keep them chilled, and then just pour in the liquor when you’re ready to drink. Marc’s second drink is a take on the always popular wine cooler!

Cucumber Cooler
Creator: Marc Canzoneri

Cucumber Vodka
Citron Vodka
Sauvignon Blanc
Green Grapes
Mint
Simple Syrup

Instructions: Muddle the grapes and mint with the simple syrup. Add other ingredients, ice, toss into another glass, and then pour into serving glass. Garnish with cucumber slices or thinly peeled cucumber “wave”.

This refreshing cocktail  sweet and perfect for sipping outside on one of those sunny San Diego days (read: every single day of the year). Get ready— spring is here, folks!