Cucumbers are an early season treat that we are excited to share with you this year. Having cucumbers at the farm or in your home garden is so rewarding.. they grow so quickly youd swear you can see them growing right in front of you. One healthy plant can make such a bounty of vegetables its hard to believe. The one downside is that two early season pests love to dine on the plants: powdery mildew and a plethora of caterpillars. So, keeping your plant healthy through its fruiting can be a bit of a chore.
There are a handful of varieties that are best suited for Floridas hot and humid winter growing season. "Ashley" is the most standard and recognizable florida variety; we love it because its resistant to downey mildew and produces early even with the humidity. "Suyo Long" is a more unusual and unique looking fruit from Asia that also doesnt mind the humidity here. Its extra long skinny fruit is deeply lobed and pretty weird looking, but it eats just the same!
If you arent in the mood to eat all of your cucumbers in salads or as a raw treat you can always try quick pickling them. Making pickles doesnt need to be intimidating or a big ordeal, especially when making smaller batches that you can keep in the fridge instead of for long term storage in the pantry. When making refrigerator pickles you can skip all the laborious sanitation steps, like boiling all of your jars and lids and then boiling them again post pickling! Heres a great basic recipe for fridge dill pickles.
One of our favorite chefs, Yotam Ottolenghi, uses cucumbers frequently in his many middle eastern recipes. Heres a short list of his best cucumber recipes for you to peruse and use for inspiration! Asian quick pickled cucumber salads are a really flavorful way to use your cucumbers; the trick is to slice them super thin with a mandolin and salt them before using, to draw out excess moisture.