Who knew Cooked Cucumber would be so delicious? Julia Child, of course. Her Herb Baked Cucumbers got me excited enough to develop my own recipe. Everything’s better with butter and herbs, right?
I never thought I’d need a recipe for Cooked Cucumber, but then, I don’t usually plant a garden. This year, I threw a few cucumber and squash plants in the garden area at Valley Friends Meetinghouse and then I neglected them. There were just a couple of tiny cucumbers and then this happened.
Have you ever seen huge yellow cucumbers? Yeah. Me neither. These are a “bush cucumber,” which is supposed to be small and green. OOOOPS. When they get to this stage, you can still eat them, but the peel is tough and bitter and the seeds are inedible. The flesh is still delicious, though. So you can use them any way you would normally eat a cucumber—sliced raw, pickled, in a good Cucumber Dill Salad or any other way.
There are too many of them for Don and me to eat quickly. We made some Grandma’s No Cook Refrigerator Pickles, a batch of Refrigerator Dill Pickles, and a couple of salads. Then I thought, “I bet we could cook them much like squash,” and I looked for recipes by Julia Child (who else?) in Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Her tip to marinate them in a vinegar brine was perfect. She used wine vinegar, and I tried it that way. It was good, but I thought it needed a little more pizzazz. So the next time I made them I used apple cider vinegar and it’s super good.
The apple cider vinegar gives it a little sweetness in addition to the tang.
What You Need
You will need a vegetable peeler, knife, cutting board, wire whisk, large mixing bowl, measuring cups and spoons, sauté pan and a baking dish. Do yourself a favor and buy the best kitchen tools you can afford.
Cooked Cucumber Recipe
These baked cucumbers are tangy and sweet, herby and buttery. Yum!
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 4 large cucumbers (or 2 super large. Ha.Ha.)
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup diced onion
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil chopped
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 cup shredded Pecorino Romano Cheese (or parmesan)
Whisk the apple cider vinegar, salt and sugar together until the sugar and salt have dissolved. (If you are using turbinado sugar, I suggest you heat this mixture for about 30 seconds to help the sugar dissolve.)
Peel the cucumbers and cut them lengthwise into strips. Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds.
Place the cucumbers in the vinegar brine, give them a stir so they are well coated, and set this aside for about 30 minutes.
Heat the oven to 375F degrees.
In a small sauté pan, melt the butter and sauté the onions for a few minutes until they are transparent.
Add the chopped basil and pepper and stir to combine.
Pour the butter and onion mixture into a 7" x 9" casserole dish and use this mixture to coat the bottom and sides of the dish.
Drain the cucumbers and pat them dry with a paper or cloth towel.
Place the cucumbers in the butter mixture and stir to coat the cucumbers with the butter.
Bake the cucumbers in a 375F degree oven for about one hour, stirring them once or twice during that time.
About 5-10 minutes before the cucumbers are ready to remove from the oven, sprinkle the top with the Pecorino Romano cheese.
The cucumbers will still be a little crisp and only a tiny bit browned when they are done.
Note: Marinating the cucumbers in a vinegar/salt brine helps to remove some of the moisture from the cucumbers. It also removes any bitterness that may occur if your cucumbers are over ripe as mine were.
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Recipe Nutrition Information
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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