Market Watch & Recipe: Cucumbers & No-Cook Pickles!

Cucumbers are in season! Here's an easy, tasty way to enjoy summer's bounty

Crunchy, crisp, and cooling … it’s cucumber season here in Philly! I have to admit, this particular veggie (actually a fruit) was not always my favorite, but I have grown to love and enjoy the cucumber’s refreshing and satisfying bite and multitude of culinary uses.

Originating over 10,000 years ago, there are now several varieties of cucumbers available outside of the traditional slicing cucumber; Kirby, Asian, lemon, and white to name a few. Some are for slicing and eating raw while others are grown for pickling, but they are all abundant in fiber, water, and nutrients like vitamin C and silica that do a body good.

Varieties to try:
• English cucumbers are long (up to 2 feet), nearly seedless and have an easy to eat delicate skin that works well in salads.
• Asian cucumbers are deep green with a bumpy skin. They are mild in flavor.
• Kirby Cucumbers are a somewhat generic name for small pickling cucumbers.
• Lemon Cucumbers are an heirloom variety that is baseball-sized with a somewhat thick, yellow skin. They are crunchy and non-bitter.

Purchase “cucs” that are firm and bright in color and keep them refrigerated to preserve their freshness.

Have an over-flow of cucumbers in your CSA? Try pickling! And share your favorite ways to eat and prepare these lovely vegetables in the comments below!

No-Cook Pickles

• 2 pounds of small cucumbers, quartered lengthwise
• 4 cloves of garlic, smashed
• 1 1/2 cups white vinegar
• 2 tablespoons sugar
• 2 tablespoons sea salt
• 1 jalapeño, sliced in half
• 1 tablespoon mixed whole peppercorns
• 1 cup fresh dill

Place cucumbers and remaining ingredients in a large glass or plastic container with a lid. Add boiling water (enough to cover the ingredients). Cover and refrigerate for 5-7 days. Will keep for up to one month.

Per serving: I have not included calories for this recipe as they have nearly none. Enjoy guilt-free!

Katie Cavuto-Boyle, MS, RD, is a Registered Dietitian, chef, and owner of Healthy Bites ToGo Market. Read Katie’s full bio and more about her role at Be Well Philly here.