Crazy for Cucumbers
The cool crispness of a fresh cucumber holds the essence of summer in every bite. Although cukes are available in supermarkets year round, those out of season cucumbers have often traveled hundreds of miles and have tough skins that have been waxed to help the cuke retain its moisture. These need to be peeled before eating.
But now it's cucumber season! The farm fresh cucumbers that are popping up at local Farmers Markets are a favorite for children and adults. Add slices to a sandwich for added crunch, chop some into a tuna salad, serve them with tomatoes and feta for a Greek Salad or with sour cream for a Scandinavian touch.
We eat cucumbers just about every day in the summertime. Their cool crunch is very refreshing, even as a simple snack. I recently found myself with an over abundance of cukes in my fridge and so I decided to try something new. I took out my spiralizer and made a batch of spiralized pickles ("Spickles").
This pretty variation will be perfect as a side salad for grilled fish or to add a flavorful crunch on top of burgers. The longer they sit in the fridge, the tangier they'll get. I used Kirby cucumbers which have a thin skin and are easy to manage on the spiralizer. Kids, who always seem to love cukes and pickles, will get a kick out of the fun spiralized shape!
2 Kirby cucumbers, washed, but not peeled
1 cup hot water
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 cup white vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
1 tablespoon picking spices
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh dill
Pinch of crushed red pepper
Cut off the ends of the cucumbers and spiralize the cukes, tossing out the inner core of seeds. Using kitchen sheers, cut the spirals so they aren't too long and are easier to manage.
Dissolve the salt in the hot water. Stir in the vinegar, mustard seeds and pickling spices.
Put the spiralized cucumbers into a quart size canning jar with the garlic cloves, dill and crushed red pepper. Pour the vinegar mixture over the cukes. If the liquid doesn't completely cover the cukes, add more water.
Cover the jar and shake to distribute the spices throughout. Chill for at least two hours before using.