Local First Blog


Aug 1, 2016 3:00:00 PM / by Local First


Fresh, crisp summer-crop cucumbers are available from midsummer until cool weather sets in. 

How to Prepare:

No need to peel a cucumber unless it’s waxed or not organic. Wash to remove any garden grit and then dice or slice.

How to Store:

Cucumbers are most stable at 45-50 degrees. However, refrigeration is necessary to retain moisture. Store cucumbers in the hydrator drawer of the refrigerator. They will keep up to 1 week. A cucumber refrigerated after being cut or peeled will deteriorate quickly. Use up leftovers as soon as possible.

How to Cook:

Eat raw, sliced into salads, pickled, pureed into soup, or sliced on a sandwich.

Information adapted from From Asparagus to Zucchini



Cold Cucumber Soup with Yogurt and Dill


  • 2 large European cucumbers (2-¼ pounds), halved and seeded—½ cup finely diced, the rest coarsely chopped
  • 1-½ cups plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 small shallot, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ⅓ cup loosely packed dill
  • ¼ cup loosely packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 2 tablespoons loosely packed tarragon leaves
  • ¼ cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • Salt
  • Fresh ground white pepper
  • ½ red onion, finely chopped
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In a blender, combine the chopped cucumber with the yogurt, lemon juice, shallot, garlic, dill, parsley, tarragon and the ¼ cup of olive oil. Blend until smooth. Season with salt and white pepper, cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.

Season the soup again just before serving. Pour the soup into bowls. Garnish with the finely diced cucumber, red onion and a drizzle of olive oil and serve.

Recipe courtesy of Food and Wine


Tomato, Onion and Cucumber Salad


  • 5 medium plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise, seeded, and thinly sliced
  • ¼ red onion, peeled, halved lengthwise, and thinly sliced
  • 1 Kirby cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • A generous drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, about 2 tablespoons
  • 2 splashes red wine vinegar
  • Coarse salt and black pepper
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Dress the tomatoes, onions, and cucumber with olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, and pepper. Let stand while you prepare dinner, about 20 minutes. Re-toss and serve salad with crusty bread for mopping up juices and oil.

Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray


Flatbread with Fava Beans, Cucumbers, and Burrata


  • 2 cups shelled fava beans (from about 2 pounds pods)
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for grill
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • ½ Garlic-Herb Naan or 1 pound store-bought pizza dough, room temperature, halved
  • 2 8-ounce balls burrata or fresh mozzarella, drained
  • Basil leaves (for serving)
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
  • Flaky sea salt
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Cook fava beans in a medium saucepan of boiling salted water until tender, about 4 minutes. Using a mesh sieve, transfer to a colander set in a bowl of ice water. Drain and peel. Combine lemon juice, 2 Tbsp. oil, and half of fava beans in a medium bowl and lightly mash with a fork. Stir in remaining fava beans; season with kosher salt and pepper. Combine cucumbers and vinegar in a medium bowl; season with kosher salt. Let sit until slightly softened, 10–12 minutes.

Prepare a grill for medium-high, indirect heat (for a charcoal grill, bank coals on one side of grill; for a gas grill, leave one or two burners off); lightly oil grate. Working with 1 piece of dough at a time, gently stretch to about a 10×8 inches oval. Grill over direct heat, turning and rotating as needed, until bread is stiff and both sides are lightly charred, about 3 minutes total. Move to indirect heat to keep warm while you grill the remaining piece of dough.

Transfer flatbreads to a work surface. Tear burrata into pieces and divide between flatbreads; top with fava bean mixture, cucumbers, and basil. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, sea salt, and pepper.

Recipe courtesy of Bon Appetit


Barley and Lentil Salad With Goat Cheese


  • ¾ cup quick-cooking barley
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 medium head romaine lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces (about 8 cups)
  • 115-ounce can lentils, rinsed
  • 1 large carrot, cut into matchsticks
  • ¼ small red onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped pitted kalamata olives
  • ¼ English cucumber, chopped
  • 2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled (½ cup)
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Cook the barley according to the package directions. Drain and run under cold water to cool. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon juice, and ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper.

In a medium bowl, toss the lettuce with half the lemon dressing. In a second medium bowl, toss the barley, lentils, carrot, onion, olives, and cucumber with the remaining lemon dressing. Serve the barley mixture over the lettuce and sprinkle with the goat cheese.

Recipe courtesy of Real Simple


Cucumber Cooler Cocktails


  • 1.5 oz gin (or 3 Tbsp)
  • 4-6 cucumber slices
  • ¼ lime, sliced
  • 4 oz tonic water
  • 6 mint leaves
  • 1 Tbsp sugar (optional)
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Add mint, lime, gin, sugar (if using) to shaker and muddle. Add cucumber slices to shaker and shake vigorously. Pour mixture over glass filled with ice and top with tonic water. Stir, let set for a few minutes for the flavors to enhance and enjoy.

Recipe courtesy of The Minimalist Baker

Local First

Written by Local First