Green was our color of choice at the market this week! Cucumber green in fact! I hadn’t realized how green my market purchases were until I returned home and placed everything on the kitchen counter! There were some shades of yellow and purple, but the dominant color was definitely green!
All week we have been eating green, and I have to say… all that green was pretty easy going down! I used the squash blossoms in a giant breakfast pancake. The okra and peppers were seasoned with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper and then grilled on separate evenings;
and I quickly steamed the green beans one night and seasoned them with salt and pepper. The two types of cucumbers were put into a quick salad with heirloom tomatoes. Each of these green sides was quick to prepare, and because they were so fresh, the simple preparations really highlighted their flavors and freshness.
The “little melon” cucumbers that we discovered at the market were especially fun for my Diverse Little Eater because they looked like bite-sized mini-watermelons.
We bought the last basket, and he ate at least a handful before we left the market. Each day this week I packed a small handful in his lunches, and each day his lunch box returned empty. They were definitely cucumber in flavor, if not in their appearance, but different enough to steal the show. Super crunchy with a lemony flavor and a juicy center is how I would describe them. I mixed the ones that did not go into lunches into a cucumber and heirloom tomato salad one evening. My diverse little eater asked for seconds on the salad!
With the abundance of cucumber varieties in the markets at the moment, I highly recommend quick and crunchy cucumber salads on busy evenings as school restarts. You can use a diversity of ingredients and herbs and you can’t go wrong!
Basic Crunchy Cucumber Salad
- Cucumbers (I usually calculate 1/2-1 cucumber per person, but it depends on the type of cucumber)
- Tomatoes (diced if large tomatoes, or cut in half if cherry or grape tomatoes)
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Optional: dried or fresh oregano, basil, cilantro or mint
- Optional: diced avocado, tomatillo, green beans, arugula, or any other veggie you choose!
Assembly of the cucumber salad:
To a bowl add the following:
- Sliced or diced cucumbers in rounds or cubes depending on how big the cucumbers are (if the cucumbers are large, you may want to remove the seeds from the center before dicing)
- Diced or halved tomatoes
- Optional: any other vegetables can be sliced or diced and added (e.g., avocado, tomatillo, steamed and cooled green beans, arugula, olives, etc.)
- Extra virgin olive oil (1-2 tbsps depending on how many cucumbers and tomatoes you use, you can always add more later if you want more olive oil flavor)
- salt and pepper to taste
- herbs (fresh or dried)
I love this salad and I make it often in the summer and early fall with different variations of vegetables. It’s a good way to use up left over veggies from a previous night (like cold green beans). I always find the cucumbers refreshing on a hot day, and the crunch seems to appeal to young and old eaters alike.
Enjoy, and stay cool…as a cucumber!