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Cool as a Cucumber

Posted 7/25/2016 8:17pm by Erin Caudell.

Did you know that cucumbers belong to the same plant family as melons, squash, and pumpkin?  That’s right; those vine growing veggies are cucurbitaceae. You can slice them, pickle them, or even use them on your face to reduce puffiness.  Cukes contain vitamin K, which can help your body absorb all the vitamin D you’re getting in the summer sun.  They also contain enough sugar, B vitamins, and electrolytes to help prevent a hangover or headache.  At only 8 calories per ½ cup serving, it’s worth it to add more cucumber to our diets.

 

Cucumber and whipped feta

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound feta cheese, cut into 2 pieces, at room temperature

  • 1/4 pound cream cheese, softened

  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • 2 cucumbers (1 1/2 pounds)—halved, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch dice

  • 1 tablespoon chopped oregano

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

  • Toasted pita or baguette slices, for serving

 

HOW TO MAKE THIS RECIPE

  1. In a large bowl, cover the feta with water and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes to temper the saltiness. Drain and coarsely crumble the feta. Transfer to a food processor and puree. Add the cream cheese, heavy cream, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice and process until smooth and airy. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

  2. Meanwhile, in a bowl, toss the cucumbers with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Add the oregano and season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or up to 2 days.

  3. Serve the whipped feta lightly chilled or at room temperature with the cucumbers and toasts.