Crunchy and fresh cucumbers go well in many dishes, but they don’t have much flavor to offer by their lonesome. The vegetables grow in abundance and are a versatile, relatively simple option that can be incorporated into almost any course of a meal. Try any of these six recipes to get your crispy, refreshing cucumber fix — these are all great year-round, particularly for a cool-down treat in the heart of summer!
1. Cucumber Sorbet
Is your sweet tooth begging for some love? Cucumbers can be used for dessert, too! Cool off with a light cucumber sorbet after dinner, courtesy of Spicy Salty Sweet. This recipe does require an ice cream maker.
- 2 pounds Persian cucumbers, peeled and chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lime juice
- ⅔ cup sugar
- ⅔ cup water
- ½ vanilla bean
Directions: Purée cucumbers and lime juice in a blender or food processor and set aside.
Heat water and sugar in a saucepan on the stove, stirring until the sugar completely dissolves. Steep the vanilla bean in the simple syrup for 10 minutes (you can use a bean you’ve already split and used to impart flavor, or clean and dry this bean when you’re done to reuse).
Mix cucumber purée and simple syrup together. Push the mixture through a sieve, to get out any seeds; the batter will be slightly pulpy, but mostly liquid. Put vanilla bean back in mixture to steep. Cover and refrigerate for at least 5 hours, preferably overnight. Freeze according to your ice cream maker’s instructions, and use ice cream maker as per its instructions to achieve final sorbet texture.