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Fruit and Vegetable Guide

Photo of Cucumbers

Cucumbers

Summer

Description: Slicing cucumbers usually have smooth skins and are long, round cylinders with a sweet flavor. Long, slender English cucumbers (also called Dutch or Japanese) have thin skins and contain few seeds. Pickling cucumbers are best used for making sweet or dill pickles.

Selection: Select firm, crisp cucumbers with no blemishes or yellowing. Ones that feel heavy for their size are likely to be crisper. Small cucumbers generally have fewer seeds.

Storage and handling: Store in the refrigerator in a loosely sealed plastic bag for up to a week. Before eating, wash in cold water.

Preparation: Remove tough or waxed skin with a vegetable peeler. Remove large seeds by slicing the cucumber in half lengthwise, then scraping seeds out with a spoon. Salting cut cucumbers and letting them sit in a colander for about an hour will remove some of their water, which will keep them from diluting salad dressing. Dry them thoroughly before tossing with the dressing.

Serving suggestions: Not usually eaten cooked. Eat cucumbers plain or with a light sprinkling of salt or a flavorful dip. Slice and chop for use in tossed salads. For cucumber salad, slice and dress with a simple vinaigrette or yogurt (SIS, p. 98).

Nutrients: Vitamin K.

1 lb raw = 4 cups
1 lb cooked = n/a

The Fruit and Vegetable Guide is reproduced here with permission of Herald Press, publisher of Simply in Season.

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