If you have a garden, or if your neighbor has a garden, there’s a good chance that you are staring down a pile of cucumbers. This time of year, the novelty of fresh cucumbers has worn off just enough that simply salting them and placing them on a plate for a snack or side is no longer enough. The days of enjoying the crisp light flavor is over, now you need to make your way through them and get everyone else in the neighborhood to do the same. I picked a few from my mom’s garden this weekend, each one so long that when lined up on the countertop it looked like I was manufacturing temporary peg legs for vegan pirates. Long cucumber story short: we have a lot of cucumbers.
Many cultures have dishes that combine cream and cucumbers. One of my favorites comes from my friend Sevda’s mom, who makes a dish with wilted cucumbers, cream and sugar. It is deliciously light in flavor, but not all that low in calories. I decided to start out with the same basic approach used in that dish by wilting the cucumbers in salt slightly before assembling the final dish. To make the dish a bit healthier, I used fat-free Greek yogurt in place of the cream – this added a bit more body, a slightly sour flavor, and some protein to the dish. And as long as I was making changes, I decided to add some flavors from traditional Turkish cucumber dishes, and threw in some mint and garlic. The resulting recipe no longer resembled either sources of inspiration, but was a tasty compilation.
2 c. cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced
1 c. fat-free Greek yogurt
1/2 c. tomatoes, diced
1/4 c. onions, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 T. fresh mint, sliced
2 t. honey
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Place the cucumbers in a bowl and sprinkle with salt, stir to combine. Place in the refrigerator for 30-60 minutes so that the cucumbers will wilt slightly. Rinse thoroughly, and then drain excess liquid. Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Salt and pepper to taste.
Estimated Calories: 60 cal/serving
Print it: Creamy Cucumbers
– To make this a complete meal, consider adding cooked shrimp or cannellini beans
– To add more nutrients, serve on top of mixed greens
– To soak up the delicious sauce, toast a baguette and rub a clove of garlic over the cut surface, then serve on the side