Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Lemon Cucumber

Let me introduce you to a lesser-known cucumber, but an oh-so-tasty one: The Lemon Cucumber.

We've planted cucumbers in our garden each year since I was a kid and my Mom has always made fresh pickled cucumbers every summer for our family. Over the last several years we've planted a heirloom cucumber variety called Lemon Cucumbers. These cucumbers are round and are about the size of a baseball. Despite the name, Lemon Cucumbers don't taste like lemons, but can take on a yellow coloring that is similar to the yellow of a lemon. As you can see from the picture, there is a slight yellow hue, but to me they are more of a light green. Also, they taste very much like other cucumber varieties, and for a bonus, they are crunchier, which I love and they taste delicious, especially when pickled.



Today when my Mom came in with a dozen of them, just picked from the garden--I knew she was going to make them into the homemade pickles--so yummy! If you want to make something that is cool and refreshing and only takes about 10 minutes of prep time and then an hour till it's ready, then this recipe is the one for you.

Quick & Easy Cucumber Pickles

Lemon Cucumbers (or any variety of your favorite cucumber)
Walla Walla Onions (these are a milder onion with a sweeter flavor, but yellow onions will also work)
2 parts vinegar
1 part water

1) Peel and slice cucumbers.


2) Peel and thinly slice onion (keep them in a circle shape, not chopped).

3) Put cucumber-onion mixture into bowl or jar (large enough that the vegetables are immersed when liquids are added).

4) Add vinegar and water (adjust to taste; if it's too sharp, add more water).

5) Cover bowl/jar and refrigerate at least 1 hour, before serving.

*Eat as a snack, with a meal or add to your favorite summer garden salad.



19 comments:

  1. Wow... Very unique blog.
    Fantastic pictures.

    I like your blog.

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    Keep blogging.
    Have a great day.

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  2. Interesting...never saw a cucumber like that.

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  3. What a great blog. I love fresh cucumbers. I make a Hungarian cucumber salad which is similiar, only difference is added sugar. Love your photography. Thanks for the comments on my site.

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  4. Thanks for making discover a different variety of cucumber! Interesting...

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  5. Wow! I've never heard of lemon cucumbers. Sounds like a great summer recipe!

    Justine

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  6. I had never really thought about cucumbers being of the heirloom variety! So fun. We are huge cucumber lovers in our house...will have to find some seeds for next year's garden!

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  7. Digivision: Thanks for your comment!

    Danny: I'm glad you get to see something new here. :)

    Corry: Your Hungarian Cucumber Salad sounds delicious.

    Rosa: Thanks for stopping by!

    Justine: It is a great summer recipe--so fresh and cool.

    BakerGirlCreations: Let me know if want to know where you can get these seeds.

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  8. You have done a great service not just to lemon cucumbers but to all heirloom vegetables. Now I feel a compulsion to go find all kinds of little-known varieties...

    Great photos, looks tangy and delicious!

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  9. ghweiss: Thanks for your kind words--I'm so excited that you are wanting to find more heirloom veggies. :)

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  10. Do you know what the shelf life is on these pickles if they're simply refrigerated? I'm considering putting them through a boiler canner to extend the shelf life, but I don't know if that's safe. Any advice?

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  11. Anonymous: Thanks for stopping by!

    The shelf life on the refrigerated pickled-cucumbers is about 3-4 days. If you are planning to actually use the hot process canning method, I would use a pickling recipe specific to canning.

    The reason our family uses this recipe as a "quick pickle" method, is to enjoy fresh, from the garden cucumbers early in the season.

    I would be happy to post a great pickle canning recipe if you would like me to--as a "part 2" to the lemon cucumber post. Just let me know and I will post one for you. :)

    Thanks!
    Jill

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  12. please please. looking to see how to CAN LEMON CUCUMBERS. I have they coming out my ears. thanks

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  13. Anonymous: I will post a great recipe next week on canning cucumbers--I just need to get through this busy weekend (I have a wedding cake to make). :)

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  14. Another vote for the canning recipe Jill!! I planted these for the 1st time this year, and now have more lemon cukes than I know what to do with and would LOVE a good recipe for pickles. YUM!!
    -Rob in Portland, OR

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  15. ps:

    ever add anything to this quick recipe? like dill, spices, sugar, etc?

    (Rob again)

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  16. Anonymous/Rob: Yes, there will be some great spices in the canning recipe. I'll be posting a great one with pictures and a description of the process on Tuesday.

    Next week I'll be posting something everyday on canning--it will all be about canning & great recipes!

    Thanks for stopping by--just winding down after finishing a large wedding cake today. See you on Tuesday. :)

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  17. What a great Blog! I also love lemon cucumbers and my plant this year is producing hundreds! I did not know you could use these for pickles I usually just peel, salt and eat! I am so making pickles this weekend!

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  18. any word on the lemon cuke pickle recipe?!? thanks! -rob

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