Originally from southern Asia, cucumbers reached other parts of the world by being pickled and surviving the long trade routes to the Mediterranean, Northern Africa, and America. Today, fresh varieties are found in the markets, ranging in length from 6 to 20 inches, in various shades of green. This vegetable’s high water content—inspiration for the saying—“cool as a cucumber”gives recipes a crisp, refreshing taste. Cucumbers are very sensitive to heat, so choose ones that are displayed in a cool area.

Cucumbers should be firm, rounded at their edges, of a bright medium to dark green hue. Thinner cucumbers will generally have less seeds than thicker ones. Cucumbers can be eaten unpeeled and the seeds are edible. But if you wish to remove the seeds, cut the cucumber lengthwise and use a spoon to gently scoop them out. Cucumbers can be sliced, diced or cut into sticks. Adding cut raw cucumbers in leafy or mixed salads will enhance the meal’s texture and give it a cool taste.

In Season

June, July, August, September, October, November

Recipes with Cucumbers

Garden Gazpacho with Sweet Peppers, Tomato-Cucumber Water, and Crostini

Mark Sullivan, Spruce

Q-Bert Hop

Greg Lindgren, Rye on the Road

Radish Leaf Salad with Corn, Tomatoes, and Salt Cucumbers

Tara Duggan, Root to Stalk Cooking

Basil and Garlic Cucumber Salad

Evan Bloom and Leo Beckerman, Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen

Articles about Cucumbers

August 13, 2010

Stop! Pickle Time

Happy Girl Kitchen has been selling traditional, fermented half-sour pickles at the Ferry Plaza this summer. And, “people have fun eating them in the market place like a popsicle.”


CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to cultivating a sustainable food system through the operation of farmers markets and educational programs. Learn More »