Keep Cool with Cucumbers

In Season, Ingredient
on June 18, 2012
Mark Boughton/ Styling by: Teresa Blackburn

This time of year, cucumbers are king. They're first to the summer finish line where they boldly preen themselves in overflowing baskets. I had never been much of a cucumber fan, that is until I discovered a sweet and vinegary Asian cucumber salad. Sliced cucumbers combined with sugar and rice vinegar make a cool, sprightly accompaniment to just about anything from burgers, to casseroles to grilled meats. Of course you can add other ingredients—cilantro, red onion, tomato—but in a pinch this basic trinity does the job.

Another cucumber-ed up salad great for backyard grill-outs is our Israeli Couscous with Mango, Cucumber and Cilantro. The unlikely sweet mangoes tossed with couscous is fantastic. I've come to embrace cucumbers in recipes beyond salads too, from popsicles to limeades, the crunchy and cool summertime staple now has a permanent place on my menu.

—By Jill Melton, Relish Editor