What I Made: Cucumber Edition

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Cucumber Noodles with Vegan Basil Cream Sauce, Tomatoes and Pine Nuts

Ingredients:

Basil Vegan Cream Sauce:

  • 1 cup cashews, soaked until soft (a few hours or overnight)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon white miso
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh garlic
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves, coarsly chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

Noodles:

  • 3-4 cucumbers
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1 cup basil vegan cream sauce
  • Fresh ground pepper

Preparation:

  1. Blend cashews, water, lemon juice, and miso until smooth.
  2. Add chopped garlic, basil, salt and pepper. Blend on lowest speed to incorporate. You should still see the chopped basil leaves.
  3. Spiralize the cucumber noodles.
  4. Pat the noodles dry with paper towels.
  5. Stir in the sauce, tomatoes and pine nuts.
  6. Top with fresh ground pepper.

That’s all there is to it. So, so good.

Mark Bittman’s Asian Cucumber Soup

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Ingredients

  • 2 medium cucumbers
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice-wine or white-wine vinegar
  • 1 small chili, stemmed, seeded and minced, or 1/4 teaspoon cayenne,or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 3 cups chicken stock, chilled (I used my stock from meat share, so good!)
  • ½ cup minced scallions OR added value spring onions, both white and green parts
  • 1 cup chopped watercress or arugula (optional)
  • 1 cup roughly chopped cilantro, mint,Thai basil or a combination.

Preparation

  1. Peel cucumbers, then cut them in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds. Slice cucumbers as thinly as possible (a mandoline is ideal for this). Mix them in a large bowl with soy sauce, vinegar, chili and sugar, then refrigerate for about 20 minutes.
  2. Add stock, scallions, watercress or arugula if you like, and stir. Taste, and adjust seasoning. Just before serving, garnish with herb or herbs of your choice.

Asian Style Cucumber Salad:

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Ingredients:

  • 2 large thin-skinned cucumbers(about 1 1/2 pounds), sliced thin
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Shoyu or Tamari
  • 1 teaspoon agave or raw honey
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced or pureed
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • teaspoon cayenne (more to taste)
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 bunch scallions, white and light green parts, sliced very thin
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Preparation:

  1. Sprinkle the cucumbers with a generous amount of salt and let sit in a colander in the sink for 15 minutes. Rinse and dry on a kitchen towel. Transfer to a salad bowl.
  2. Whisk together the vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, garlic, ginger, cayenne, and pepper. Whisk in the sesame oil. Toss with the cucumbers, scallions, and cilantro. Chill until ready to serve.
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