Are your friends playing ding-dong-cucumber? As in, ring the bell, dump the cukes and run? Do your pals sheepishly hand you armfuls, whispering “make pickles. Please?” I’ll just bet the big greens are rolling off the counter, filling your backseat, and hogging the fridge.
I don’t even try growing cucumbers. My vegetable thumb is so not green that I’d probably kill even summer’s most overstayed guest. Obviously I’m free to love them precisely because I don’t grow them. When green-jean friends shove their extras at me (“no, I insist. I’ll pay you.”) I’m happy to chat about salad and soups and frothy mousse. They’re just happy I’m holding the bag.
When your cuke overfloweth, here’s a quick and satisfying way to use them up. It’s an easy chopped salad with a great big punch – more than just creamy-cold-crunchy, it helps you suck up a lot of cucumbers. Bring a bowl to a barbecue and watch them praise not just your stellar side, but your astounding powers of cucumber disposal.
Cucumber-Tomato Salad with Feta
(for a crowd)
3 giant cucumbers
2 pints cherry tomatoes
1 pound feta cheese
1 bunch green onions
grated zest of 1 small lemon
extra-virgin olive oil
red wine vinegar
salt and ground pepper
parmesan or pecorino romano cheese, for grating
Wash and dry cucumbers, then halve lengthwise. Cut in half lengthwise again, then chop crosswise into even chunks. Place cucumber pieces in large bowl.
Remove stems from and halve cherry tomatoes. Add tomatoes to cucumber bowl. Chop ends off green onions and then chop entire bunch into small pieces. Add green onions to cucumber bowl, then add grated lemon zest. Lightly toss the vegetables together.
Crumble feta cheese over salad, then add olive oil and red wine vinegar to taste, using more vinegar than oil. Season with salt and ground pepper; toss all ingredients together to coat. Refrigerate to chill; before serving, grate parmesan or pecorino romano over salad.