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Did you know that a cucumber is actually a gourd?  It's true; they are

a trailing member - a vine that grows on the ground - of the gourd

family.  They originated in India, and spread to Asia, Europe, and

eventually North America by the mid-17th century.  They are a

good source of Vitamins A, C, and potassium as well as being

very low in fat and calories.  A summer-time favorite,

cucumbers are terrific in soups, salads, relishes and

sandwiches, they can be served raw or pickled - one cool slice

over each eye can even relieve puffiness. The possibilities are endless!



Marinated Cucumber Salad in Honey-Cider Vinegar

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons water

1-3 teaspoons honey

1/4 teaspoon prepared Dijon mustard OR 1 1/2 teaspoons caraway seeds OR 1 teaspoon celery seeds OR 1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill

4 medium cucumbers, peeled, thinly sliced

6 thin slices onion


Mix the vinegar, water, honey to taste, and mustard (or other choice of seasoning) in a glass mixing bowl. Add the cucumber and onion; toss until well combined.  Marinate for at least 30 minutes at room temperature or refrigerate overnight. Serve cold or at room temperature.



Cucumber Salsa

2 medium cucumbers, peeled,seeded,chopped

2 medium tomatoes, chopped

1/2 cup green bell pepper, chopped

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded,minced

1 small onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 teaspoon fresh parsley, minced

2 teaspoons fresh cilantro, minced

1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed

1/2 teaspoon salt


In a medium bowl stir together all ingredients.  Cover and refrigerate at least one hour.  Serve with tortilla chips.



Basil-Cucumber Salad

2 lbs cucumbers

1/2 cup chopped fresh basil

1 -2 medium red onion

1 tsp. honey-mustard dressing

1/2 tsp. minced garlic

red pepper flakes

2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegrette

1 cup tomato, chopped


Thin-slice the cucumbers and onions and put them in a container. Rip or chop the basil and toss it in.  Mix together honey mustard, vinegrette and a tablespoon of water and pour over cumcumbers.  Add chopped garlic and red pepper flakes.  Let this marinate for at least 2 hours.   Add the tomatoes at the last minute.



Cool as a Cucumber Soup

2 small cucumbers (about 10 oz)

1 cup yogurt (plain)

3/4 cup buttermilk

1 lemon, juice of

1 garlic clove

1 teaspoon fresh dill


Cut cucumber into small enough sections to be blended, saving one short (approx. 2 1/2 in) section for later.


Blend cucumber with yogurt buttermilk, lemon juice, garlic, and dill.


Cube remaining cucumber and stir into blended mixture. This provides texture to the soup. However, if you would prefer an entirely smooth soup, just blend the cucumber chunk with everything else.  Refreshingly different on a hot summer day!




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