Cucumber Soup

I heard a rumor when I picked up my share today that people feel like they are drowning in cucumbers. This is an old family recipe from Bulgaria. There are many variations as cucumbers in yogurt are enjoyed in many different countries. So if you have a favorite flavoring combination, try it out. Think of this as a type of salad for hot summer days. It’s a great side dish, too.

Ingredients
2 cucumbers
1 tablespoon dried dill (remember to use more if you have fresh)
1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
2-3 tablespoons lemon juice (more or less to taste)
salt & pepper to taste

Directions
Peel and slice the cucumbers the way you like to eat them
Mix everything together
Taste, and adjust the flavorings accordingly

Chill, and eat!

Other information
Above is the “base” recipe. If you’re feeling adventurous, try adding one of these seasoning combinations to the recipe above: fresh parsley, garlic & olive oil; green onion, cumin, green chillis & mint; ginger, turmeric & coriander. Just 3 variations I’ve come across. Using fresh (not dried) spices is generally preferred if they’re available.
Blended together, this dish becomes a cooling addition to a curry or other spicy dish.
(You can always make lactic fermented pickles with the extra cucumbers … remember “refrigerator pickles”?)

Spicy Cucumber Salad

This is a recipe I modified from the fabulous book, From Asparagus to Zucchini.  I added more vinegar for more zing and more soy sauce for more flavor, and switched out the sugar with local honey.  I used a low-sodium Tamari, so if you’re using a full sodium soy sauce you might want to taste for saltiness before adding the 2nd teaspoon.  It’s best if you put it in the fridge for at least an hour for it to marinate and cool.

2 cucumbers
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar or white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons dark/toasted sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons reduced sodium Tamari soy sauce – if not using low sodium, then add to taste
1 tablespoon honey
1 hot pepper, minced  (removing the seeds and white ribs will ensure a less spicy dish)

Peel the cucumbers, cut lengthwise, and use a spoon to scrape out the seeds.
Slice the cucumbers into half-moons, about a half inch thick.
Whisk the remaining ingredients, including the hot peppers.  Once mixed thoroughly, toss dressing with the cucumbers.

Makes 2-4 servings, depending on portion size.

Voula's Greek Salad

If you are looking for a traditional Greek salad this is it!  This recipe comes from a dear friend of our’s from California.  Voula was our neighbor and a native Grecian. 

Ingredients
2 medium Cucumbers – peeled and cut into wedges
4 medium Tomatoes – cut into wedges
1 medium Sweet Red Onion – sliced
1 8 oz package Feta Cheese – soaked in water
2 tablespoons Greek Oregano – whole leaves or chopped.  Fresh preferred.
½ cup Olive Oil
¼ cup Red Wine Vinegar
Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions
Combine cucumbers, tomatoes and onion into a bowl. 
Crumble Feta Cheese over vegetables. 
Add fresh oregano.
Pour olive oil and vinegar over the mixture. 
Toss.
Add salt and pepper to taste.