Cool Cukes, Attractive Lawyer – The New York Times

For much of my life, I thought I didn’t like cucumbers. I loved sour pickles and Sichuan-style smashed cucumbers, but in most other contexts – especially misinterpretations of Greek salad – cucumbers struck me as a watery, slippery filler, the honeydew of the world of the tasty salad. (I stand by my aversion to honeydew.) Why would you dip a cucumber spear in dip when you could choose a carrot? Or a radish? Why?

But now I know the truth is that the cucumber is one of nature’s great coolants, a leaf for the hot weather and the heat of Chile. The best dishes that use it highlight its juicy crunch. And a bunch of cucumbers, lightly dressed or quickly pickled, is a quick one-pot salad that works with many meals. (It helps if you use Persian or English cucumbers, which have thinner skins and don’t have the big, gooey seeds found in standard garden cucumbers.)

There are two new cucumber recipes below, and lots more on New York Times Cooking; you’ll see them here all summer. Because I know there are people who haven’t gone down the cucumber route yet – and I understand why – there are also other recipes for the week.

This refreshing salad from Hetty McKinnon can easily turn into dinner if you serve it with rice, noodles or just cooked chicken or tofu on the side. The avocados add a smoothness that contrasts with the crunch.

See this recipe.

Ali Slagle took the flavors of a platter of chicken souvlaki, including salad and tzatziki, and funneled them into one recipe you can make at home after work. If you love horiatiki – the traditional Greek salad, which the American diner-style version is based on – then you already know that feta and cucumbers make a great pair.

This recipe from Melissa Clark is an ode to summer, and I thought of it when I saw some fresh corn at the store and wanted to make dinner out of it. I added farro to make it a meal, and honestly, I don’t think you need to halve the cherry tomatoes; just cook them a little longer. But it’s me. Swapping halloumi for firm tofu would make it vegan.

See this recipe.

This simple pasta dish from Colu Henry is great for the kids – or really, anyone who loves a simple pasta dish in the summer (me). The gremolata kicks it up a notch, but you can skip it if you’re looking to cut back on the effort.


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