Before squash wilt decimated my cucumber crop, I had an abundance of cucumbers and only a few really great recipes, of which pickles were my favorite. After harvesting serving bowls full of cucumbers, even I discovered a limit to the number of refrigerator pickles I could eat in a week.
I could have canned the extra cucumbers, but I dislike canning in summer. Boiling water for 30 minutes in the 90 degree weather with 90 percent humidity makes me “glisten” more than I’d like to admit. (To return to civilization after canning, I must immediately take a second or third shower and change my clothes.) Worse yet, the resulting pickles are often mushy and ugly.
I wanted an alternative to refrigerator pickles that would be as simple and wonderful as my refrigerator pickles. Sadly, I didn’t discover this recipe until my cucumber crop was nearly gone.
The idea for the cucumber boats originated in a conversation between fellow gardeners at church. One of whom recommended placing an herbed cream cheese in a seeded cumber. I didn’t have cream cheese, but I did have yogurt and lots of herbs. We love garlic, so I added a few cloves.The result of my experiment was really good. This recipe was quick, easy, flavorful and cool — just as all summer recipes ought to be. Sigh, writing this post is causing me to mourn the loss of my cucumber vines even more.
- 2-3 large English cucumbers or 5-6 smaller cucumbers
- 1 cup Greek plain yogurt or 2.5 cups of plain yogurt, strained through a cheesecloth for 3 hours
- 1-2 garlic cloves
- 1/4–1/3 cup fresh, chopped herbs, especially dill, mint, oregano, and parsley
- A handful of currant tomatoes (optional)
- Salt and pepper
1. Dry roast the garlic in a skillet by placing the peeled cloves into an empty skillet. Turn every 30-45 seconds until the skin is brown. Cool and peel. Finely mince the garlic or use a garlic press.
2. Mix the garlic, herbs and yogurt in a small bowl. Add salt and pepper according to taste.
3. Cut cucumbers in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds using a spoon. Discard seeds. Dollop yogurt mix into the hollow left by the seeds. Sprinkle with currant tomatoes for flavor and color. Serve.
This post is part of Real Food Wednesday.