17 September 2014

Stuffed, cooked cucumbers

I can't imagine that anybody who doesn't grow cucumbers in a vegetable garden, and who doesn't have the benefit of a bumper crop, would ever make this. Nevertheless, it's surprisingly good. Okay, the skins were a little tough, but they were easy to peel off of each little piece of cucumber as you ate. The cooked cucumber flesh itself was sweet and delicious.

The stuffing I made was cooked rice, onions, garlic, and minced pork. The little extras were some some hot red pepper flakes and fennel seeds cooked with the rice, and, cooked with the meat, about a quarter cup of Ricard, the anise-flavored drink that people in the south of France love to sip when the weather turns hot. That gave the stuffing a summery, Mediterranean flavor.

The hollowed-out cucumbers get parboiled for ten minutes and then left to drain and cool on a rack. Then they get the stuffing put in. Everything is already cooked, so the cuke boats just need to be reheated and slightly browned in the oven.

We had a basketful of cherry tomatoes from the garden. I quickly braised some sliced onion and garlic in olive oil and then tossed in the tomatoes, which I had cut in half. Don't cook them; just heat them up slightly in the oil to release their juice and flavor. Salt and pepper them to your taste.

Slice up a few fresh basil leaves and put them in to infuse with the warm tomatoes for a couple of minutes.

Spoon a little of the juice from the tomatoes over the stuffed cucumbers. The tomatoes make a kind of warm salsa to have with the cucumber and stuffing.

Cooked, stuffed cucumbers like these are based on an old French recipe. I blogged about them back in 2007.


  1. I just can't imagine what heated cucumber tastes like. Have you ever just peeled it, diced it, and cooked it in cream, or sautéed it, or anything like that, Ken?

    1. Judy, heated or cooked cucumber tastes delicious and it has a firm, slightly crispy texture. I've sauteed slices of it in butter in the past, to serve with white fish fillets, and I've cooked it in a cream sauce, Both ways, it's very good. I got my inspiration for the cooking of cukes from a book by Louis Diat, a French chef who ran the Ritz Carlton in NYC over a good part of the first half of the 20th century. He is credited with having invented Vichyssoise and was originally from that area (le Bourbonnais, where Callie was born — in the town of Montmarault).

    2. I'll have to try it, Ken! I've only ever eaten it cold, and also as a cold bisque soup, which was DELICIOUS.

  2. 'great idea to eat. I have eaten this meal at my place. Yummy.


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