Friday, September 21, 2012

Cool Cukes

Well, the final day of summer is fading into history. It was a particularly hard summer for farmers in the U.S.  – especially in the Midwest.  Here in the Mid-Atlantic we fared a bit better though if you talk to frequent farmer’s market folks – we all noticed that everything seemed to be a month early.  I don’t know about any of you but as we were heading into what seemed to be our 10th heat wave of the summer I could barely make eye contact with my oven.  We just tried to avoid each other altogether.  So when it came to fresh produce, everything was made pretty much “crudo” – raw!  I’ve developed a newfound love and respect for cucumbers more so than ever before.  This cucumber salad I made was perfect on those hot, humid days and I’m stretching it out into this cooler weather – cool cukes – because it makes such a great side dish to a sandwich or soup. Not to mention it’s a great way to use up any leftover cucumbers you may have from your garden or the farmer’s market.  And save those peels!! From me to my mom to my stylist Paula Jean, we know that nothing soothes eye puffiness from these seasonal allergies like a cool cucumber eye compress! 

Cucumber Salad with Feta & Dill Vinaigrette


1            medium cucumber, peeled & cut into 1/16” slices

3Tb        fresh lemon juice      
1Tb        finely chopped dill
1 ½ tsp  Dijon mustard
1 clove   garlic minced
½ cup   extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt & fresh ground black pepper to taste
¼ cup     crumbled feta cheese

Sprig of dill for garnish

 Whisk together the lemon juice, dill, mustard & garlic.  Slowly whisk in the olive oil until emulsified.  Season to taste with salt & pepper.  Place the cucumber slices in a large bowl and pour the vinaigrette over top.  Then add the feta cheese.  Gently stir the salad until all the ingredients are combined.  When ready to serve at the table, garnish with a sprig of fresh dill.

**This recipe will make about 4 side servings and can easily be doubled as shown in the picture.  To save time, the vinaigrette can also be made in a food processor which is easier when the amount is doubled.



  1. This looks really yummy Denise - I love cucumbers! I definitely want to give it a try ... will go nicely with fish, especially salmon.