Cucumbers Are for More Than Salads

If cucumbers are something you think of only as a cool, crunchy addition to salads, you might be surprised at how versatile this vegetable is. Chowhounds turn cucumbers into soups and drinks, and even cook them.

Cucumber gazpacho is a favorite of Jzone's, as either a starter or palate cleanser. Jzone makes it from cucumbers, fresh mint, shallots, garlic, jalapeño, olive oil, lime juice, and white wine vinegar. nofunlatte makes a chilled soup by puréeing peeled, seeded, chopped cucumbers with plain yogurt, dill or parsley, and salt and pepper, seasoning to taste with lemon juice or white wine vinegar.

While the recipe for baked cucumbers from Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking "sounds very weird," greygarious says, "they are a revelation." A different option is a cucumber casserole with tomatoes, carrots, and cheese; this freezes well, pinehurst says. And RUK loves cucumbers sautéed with onions, garlic, and tomatoes, seasoned with lots of pepper and caraway seeds.

Ice cubes made from puréed cucumbers are good in a Bloody Mary, says ninrn. Or use cucumber juice as the base for a cocktail, as in CHOW's Cucumber Margarita.

Discuss: Help! Too many cucumbers!

Photograph of CHOW's Cucumber Margarita by Christopher Rochelle / CHOW.com