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Adlen Robinson: 'Quickles' and four other easy cucumber recipes
Adlen
Adlen Robinson

Every year we plant a garden. Some years are better than others—no two years are ever alike. One year we had so many tomatoes, I had to learn how to can. While not difficult to do, canning takes lots of time. This year, we have had a steady supply of tomatoes, but not nearly as many as we hoped for. We have had some peppers, but not as many as we would like—ditto for squash and eggplant. But cucumbers? We had had an abundance of. So many, in fact, I have been making “quickles” several times a week and giving them away to friends. I love making quickles because there is no need to get out the giant canning pot and steaming up the kitchen. Here are some cucumber recipes to help you use up your cucumbers.

This recipe is more of a guide. You can make the pickles sweeter by adding more sugar, or spicier by adding more jalapenos and crushed red pepper flakes. Just taste your brine before pouring over the cucumbers. You can also vary the spices according to what you have on hand.

Quickles 

  • 2 pounds cucumbers, scrubbed and sliced or cut into spears

  • 3 cups white vinegar

  • 1 cup water

  • ½ cup sugar

  • 2 tablespoons salt

  • 2 teaspoons whole mustard seeds

  • 2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns

  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds

  • 4 sprigs fresh dill

  • 2 jalapenos, sliced

  • ½ onion, sliced

In a saucepan, combine vinegar, water, sugar and salt. Bring to a boil and then stir until sugar and salt have dissolved. Cool to room temperature. Divide cucumbers, spices, jalapeno, and onion slices into jars. When brine has cooled, pour over cucumbers. Screw on tops and refrigerate for 24 hours. They will last a few weeks in the refrigerator.

 

Creamy Cucumber Salad 

  • ½ cup sour cream

  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill leaves, minced

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder

  • 3 cups cucumbers, peeled and sliced

  • 1 cup thinly sliced red onion

Combine sour cream, vinegar, dill, salt, and garlic powder. In a bowl, combine cucumber slices and red onion. Pour sour cream mixture over and toss to combine.

 

Cucumber Salsa

  • 2 cups cucumbers, peeled and seeded, chopped

  • ½ cup tomatoes, chopped

  • ¼ cup red onion, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons parsley, minced

  • ½ jalapeno, minced (more to taste)

  • 1/3 cup cilantro, minced

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • ¼ cup sour cream

  • 1 tablespoon lime juice

  • ¼ teaspoon cumin

  • ½ teaspoon salt

In a bowl, toss together cucumbers, tomatoes, onion, parsley, jalapeno, cilantro, garlic, sour cream, lime juice, cumin and salt. Taste for seasoning.

 

Grilled Chicken Breasts with Mango/Cucumber Salsa

  •  2 tablespoon lemon juice

  • 1 tablespoon lime juice

  • 1 tablespoon cilantro, minced

  • ¼ teaspoon cumin

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 1 cucumber, peeled and diced

  • 1 tomato, chopped

  • ¼ cup red onion, chopped

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • ½ teaspoon onion powder

  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder

In a bowl, toss together lemon juice, lime juice, cilantro, cumin, salt, cucumber, tomato and red onion. Drizzle chicken breasts with olive oil and then sprinkle with salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder. Grill chicken breasts over medium-high heat until cooked through, about 4-5 minutes per side. To serve, mound some of the salsa on a plate and top with grilled chicken.

 

Sesame Ginger Cucumber Salad

  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar

  • 4 teaspoons soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger

  • 1 teaspoon honey

  • ½ teaspoon sriracha

  • 2 cucumbers, peeled and sliced

  • 1 ½ teaspoons toasted sesame seeds

  • 1 green onion, sliced

Whisk together rice vinegar, soy sauce, olive oil, ginger, sesame oil, honey and sriracha. Place cucumbers in a bowl and toss with the dressing. Add toasted sesame seeds and green onions.


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