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prairiemoon2

What to do with an overabundance of cucumbers?

I think I overdid it with the cucumber seedlings this year. I have trouble 'thinning' seedlings after sowing a lot 'just in case'. [g] I haven't tried to grow them in years, because of no room and the cucumber beetle. They all took and all are growing well and there are a ton of flowers on the vines that are 2/3 the way up a 7ft trellis. I just counted 8 cucumbers that will be ready to pick this week and that's just the start.

Aside from giving them away, I think I need to think up some new way to eat them. The only way we have been eating them is in cucumber/tomato sandwiches and in salads. So I'm hoping someone has another delicious way to eat them?

Comments (42)

  • 9 years ago

    you could can them and pickle them make some awesome home grown pickles. I hear you about the beetles i have them too. even though they seem to get my beets more than the cucumbers and squash.

    Here is a link that might be useful: TheItalian Garden

  • 9 years ago

    Jonathan, these are slicing cucumbers, variety 'Minestro'. Can you make pickles out of large slicers?

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  • 9 years ago

    This is what I do with many of the cucumbers. (besides making refrigerator dill pickles). I always make far more than this recipe calls for. It's delish!

    Danish cucumber salad

    3 large cucumbers, sliced very thin
    1 medium sweet onion, sliced very thin.
    1 Tablespoon salt (or a little less)

    Mix together. Lay in shallow non-metal container and let sit at room temp for 2 hours. Drain. (Don't rinse......all that salt gives it alot of flavor). Dry with paper towel

    Dressing

    Mix:
    1/2 cup cider vinegar
    2 Tablespoons sugar
    pepper
    Alot of fresh or dried dill.

    Store in fridge

  • 9 years ago

    I have made dill pickles out of regular cucs but the bigger ones certainly weren't very good. For future reference, the pickling type seem to be fine in salad and they don't need to be peeled. I know this because like you, I grew many cucumber plants so that I could generate many cucumbers at once for pickling. I mainly pickled the 4-5 inch ones, and used the larger ones for salad and threw the huge ones that got away into the compost.

  • 9 years ago

    You can make all sorts of refrigerator and freezer pickles out of your cukes, but the only canned pickles I'd try would be thinly sliced bread and butters.

  • 9 years ago

    PICK THEM SMALLER !

    If they mature at 8", pick them at 6". Cucumber is one of the vegetables that is tastier when smaller and tender. If they are not PICKLE type, try to pickle the very small ones, like the size of finger.

    You can just pick a young one off the vine, wash and eat like you would eat an apple. You will discover the true taste of cucumber. A dash of salt can be optional.

    CUCUMBER TOMATO snack:
    slice both in thin rings (1/8"). Arrange in a plate. Sprinkle with your choice of salt, pepper, vinegar, olive oil.

  • 9 years ago

    Ooooohhhhh.....yeah........sour cream cucumbers. (or yogurt)

    I've grown County Fair pickler cucumber for many years. Every year it seems to grow differently. Sometimes they get a little away from me.
    Here's a pic of one of my "pickler" cucumbers in a quart canning jar!

    {{gwi:81968}}

  • 9 years ago

    I eat cucumbers in place of chips and crackers. I keep peeled and sliced cucumber in the refrigerator (it will last a week once peeled and sliced) then have them with hummus, guacamole, cheese. Pretty much anything you used to put on a cracker or dip a chip in. It's a great low-calorie replacement for all those carbs.

  • 9 years ago

    I almost forgot.........we love salads all year round, but in summer, I cut up tomatoes and cucumbers and mix with Italian salad dressing. Actually, I don't like all the additives in the store-bought mix, so I just add olive oil, some type of vinegar, salt, pepper, and herbs. You can also add extras like olives, red peppers, etc. Gosh.......I'm getting really hungry!

    Gosh.....can you ever have too many cucumbers? I make that Danish cucumber salad I mentioned above all the time, and it makes use of a ton of cucumbers.

  • 9 years ago

    there's an Asian cucumber salad that's simple to make - rice vinegar and sesame oil are key ingredients. Make it as sweet or spicy as you want.

    I keep forgetting to make the cucumber yogurt dressing for Greek sandwiches.

  • 9 years ago

    Oh, that cucumber yogurt dressing is good!

  • 9 years ago

    Do you like gazpacho?

    I read somewhere about someone who dried cucumber slices...wonder what those would take like?

  • 9 years ago

    I make a Cucumber Yogurt Soup which cool and delicious on a hot day, and it uses up several cucumbers at a shot. It also works well with too large ones like in catherinet photo, due to the steps where the seeds are removed and the pieces are salted.

    It works well as an appetizer, served in clear plastic dixie cups.

    Makes about 36 oz which should serve about 6 as an appetizer

    Cold Cucumber Yogurt Soup

    3 large cucumbers (peeled and seeded)
    (or 4 or 5 smaller cucumbers)
    1 1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 cup plain greek yogurt
    1/3 cup sour cream
    2 Tbsp crushed garlic
    2 Tbsp lemon juice
    1 tsp dill weed

    After peeling and seeding cucumbers, chop them into 1/2" cubes and place in colander. Sprinkle all of the salt on the cucumber pieces and let sit for 10 minutes. (to draw out some of the moisture and any bitterness)

    Next place salted cucumbers in food processor or blender with all of the remaining ingredients, blend until desired smoothness.

    Chill for about an hour and serve.

  • 9 years ago

    Sorry, my internet has been down all day and I've run out of time today. I'll catch up tomorrow morning. Looks like a lot of great ideasâ¦thanks!

  • 9 years ago

    My favorite, though I don't measure, is sliced, and chilled in a bowl with cider vinegar and water, and pepper sprinkled on top. My aunt used to make this. I don't know if it has a name or not. I remember that she ran a fork down the sides of the peeled cucumber. What is this recipe called? Anyone know?

  • 9 years ago

    Peeled, sliced paper thin, a splash of distilled white vinegar, a shake of salt and a pinch of sugar. Toss. This is one recipe my teenage son can make by himself and about the only "salad" he'll eat though he likes cooked veggies.

    We just call it "sliced cucumbers".

    Cucumber soup sounds good!

  • 9 years ago

    I've been reading Julie/Juilia about a young woman cooking ALL of Julia Childs's recipes in one year! Fun book, but makes me just cringe at the amount of butter/cream etc!
    BUT They did have a recipe for baked cukes that had a small amount of butter and was very simple! It was quite good! I would cut back or forget the salt (but I don't' use salt anyway), probably cut back on the butter (just me!)
    It actually turned out very good! Just look up Baked cucumbers and the JC will pop up! Nancy

  • 9 years ago

    Another version of Bob Cville 's yogurt dip with cucumber:

    Instead of dicing the cukes, grate them (medium).

  • 9 years ago

    Catherine, thanks for the Danish Cucumber Salad recipe. IâÂÂve also been looking to use up dill too.

    Seysonn and Chas045, IâÂÂm going to have to take some photos of the cucumbers, but when they are smaller, they are thick at one end and thin at the other. IâÂÂll check them out later today.

    Planatus, sliced bread and butters sounds like a possibility. I guess it wouldnâÂÂt matter how big the cucumbers were.

    Ltilton, we have plenty of yogurt and dill, thanks.

    Catherine, where did you find County Fair seeds?

    Loribee, thatâÂÂs an idea, they certainly are crisp enough to dip.

    Defrost, Asian dressing, I wouldnâÂÂt have thought of. That would be different. Who doesnâÂÂt like sesame oil.

    Donna, we love gaspacho! I forgot you use cucumber in that recipe. And weâÂÂve frozen that before too.

    Bob, Cold Cucumber Yogurt soup on a hot day, sounds good.

    Deeby and AJsMama, IâÂÂm so used to using white vinegar for cleaning, I donâÂÂt even think of it as a food any more. lol I will have to see how different the vinegars taste.

    Nancyjane, my daughter loves Julia Child and weâÂÂve all seen the movie about the two JuliaâÂÂs. I canâÂÂt imagine using all that butter and cream on a regular basis either. Baked cucumbers, thatâÂÂs different too.

    Seysonn, grated cucumber, that would be a little different. I wonder if adding grated cucumber to cole slaw might work too?

    Now if the tomatoes would all start ripening!!


  • 9 years ago

    Prairiemoon....
    I used to get them all the time from Park seed, but I think they quit selling it. So last time I got some from Jung seed and also from Reimer seeds.

  • 9 years ago

    I don't think grated cucumber would work in cole slaw as it's so much softer than the cabbage & carrots. And leftovers might be a problem.

  • 9 years ago

    I love cucumbers; we go through them rapidly. The refrigerator pickle recipes are great, I love yogurt or sour cream pickles. I haven't made Bob's soup yet, but there's no question that it will be a hit.

    Aside from the great recipes above, I use sliced pickles on sandwiches, sliced for dipping into homemade dressing,

    I also agree that you should pick them when small!

  • 9 years ago

    A bit off topic.........
    Prairie moon.............you mentioned you like gazpacho. Funny story. My daughter teaches private music lessons. One of her students said to her "My mom makes the best Gestapo." :)

  • 9 years ago

    prairiemoon - I think you'll really notice the difference if you try white wine vinegar. imo plain distilled vinegar IS only good for cleaning, in comparison.

    There is also a white balsamic vinegar available, but it's not really white, just a lighter brown. I wouldn't use anything but a really white vinegar with cukes.

  • 9 years ago

    rice wine vinegar is nice and mild too.

  • 9 years ago

    You can make pickles out of any kind of cucumber...some are better suited but all are able to be pickled.

    I make Tzadziki - it gets the approval of my Greek-born hubby. Use it as a side condiment, as a dip with pita or chips. Very fresh and yummy.

    Tzadziki

    16 oz. sour cream
    1 large, two medium cucumbers; seeded, flesh cut into large chunks
    2 cloves garlic minced
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1 tablespoon white vinegar
    Salt and pepper to taste

    Using a food processor, chop cucumber into very small pieces (or grate by hand). Press grated cucumber into a fine mesh colander and remove excess liquid. Place into bowl and add rest of the ingredients adding the sour cream last. Refrigerate for several hours.

  • 9 years ago

    I'm going to try that LKZZ.....thanks for the recipe. I'll bet it goes good on salmon too.

  • 9 years ago

    Have you checked out all the discussions about this question over on the Harvest forum here? That is their focus. :)

    Plus there are loads of recipes that the search pulls up over on the Cooking forums and the Recipe Exchange forum.

    Dave

  • 9 years ago

    It's cider vinegar.

  • 9 years ago

    Cucumber lemonade. It's awesome. I use a hell of a lot more cukes than the recipe calls for, and I don't make the simple syrup. http://allrecipes.com/recipe/refreshing-cucumber-lemonade/

  • 9 years ago

    Thanks Catherine, IâÂÂll check out Jung or Reimer Seeds. I would like to try those next year.

    Gestapo! LOL Kids are so cute, arenâÂÂt they?

    We do have Rice Wine Vinegar in the house. Our daughter cooked an Asian dish not too long ago.

    AJsMama, YouâÂÂre probably right, too soft and wonâÂÂt hold up as long for leftovers.

    Thanks Rhizo, definitely will try all those recipes and dipping them.

    Ltilton, White Wine Vinegar, okay.

    LKZZ, my daughter will really enjoy that recipe too. Thanks.

    Dave, I always forget there is a Harvest forum and havenâÂÂt visited the Recipe Exchange forum in quite awhile too. Thanks for the reminder!

    ILoveCucumbers - HavenâÂÂt heard of that one yet! Just curious, but since you love cucumbers [g], what is your favorite way to eat them?

  • 9 years ago

    The distilled white vinegar is good if you add the sugar. Cider vinegar is good, I haven't tried rice wine vinegar but that would be good, so would white wine vinegar and even red wine vinegar if you don't mind the color. I don't think I'd use balsamic or malt vinegar on cukes though.

  • 9 years ago

    A few things to do with the baby cukes before they get large (you don't have to wait for them to size up to pick and eat them):

    Eat them in the garden right off the vine. Most refreshing. One can also cut them into lengthwise spears that go very well with speared daikon radishes, or slabbed out with daikons in sandwiches (topped with fresh sliced tomatoes is also good).

    Cook them like one would zukes. They are also good battered and deep fried.

    In addition to all the fabulous refrigerator pickles and salads mentioned above. Hard to see that it is possible to have too many cukes.

    This post was edited by OldDutch on Thu, Jul 31, 14 at 11:01

  • 9 years ago

    If they are good cucumbers, invite your neighbors to help themselves to harvest some, (I gave 4 neighbors permission), or offer them some when you have a surplus.

    I live alone, have a 2,000 sq. ft. garden, and provide much of my neighborhood surplus tomatoes, corn, cucumbers, peppers, lettuce, onions, beans, beets, and asparagus.

  • 9 years ago

    This thread is so perfect for me because I currently have a pile of cukes I need to use up before I leave on vacation.

    Right now I'm making these refrigerator pickles:
    http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2010/06/bread-and-butter-pickles/

    Last night I made a variation on the cucumber/yogurt food processor soup:

    2 medium cucumbers- roughly chopped
    1.5 cups lowfat plain yogurt
    1 finely diced scallion
    2 crushed garlic cloves
    swirl of olive oil
    chopped flat leaf parsley
    chopped tarragon
    chopped chives
    chopped dill
    half a small jalepeno, finely diced (if you like a kick of spice)
    salt and pepper

    Puree it all in the food processor or blender.
    Chill for at least an hour

    I served it with some diced cucumber added to give it some crunch and floated thinly sliced avocados on top. Yum!

  • 7 years ago

    We just tried some of the ''classic'' cucumber sandwiches or the first time. A fine variation on what to do with late summer surpluses.

  • 7 years ago

    These are all great recipe ideas! If the OP has any cukes left after all these delicious dishes, maybe the local food pantry would take them? (But I understand that fresh veggies may not be allowed for donations, for various reasons... ). Just my .02

  • 7 years ago

    Usually Food Banks have coolers and accept a wide variety of produce. I believe the patrons in our area are a bit tired of cucumbers but Food Banks have never turned them away.

  • 7 years ago

    Cukes taste just like watermelon if you add a little sweetener. I either shred or blend them and add water and stevia.

    I also substitute them for lettuce; remove the dark peel, then use the peeler to make thin slices. A spiral slicer looks great for salads or beverages.

  • 7 years ago

    You could try making sushi. Cucumber; sliced really thin. Sushi rice. Mmmm

  • 7 years ago

    Somewhere on some website I discovered a way to make a faux gazpacho fast and easy. I get a jar of salsa from the supermarket deli and add diced cucumbers. Then I put some large croutons in a bowl and pour my salsa with cucumbers over them. Chill, wait and enjoy.