Essential crudity of summer menus, cucumber reveals new flavours after cooking. Are you sceptical? Try it!
From the IX th century, Charlemagne ordered the cultivation of cucumber on the different areas. This cucurbit, probably native to northern India, has already conquered Asia and the Middle East. Both the Egyptians and the Hebrews became its main ambassadors by introducing it into their culinary traditions.
On the shores of the Mediterranean, we first appreciate the thirst-quenching virtues of the vegetable. A small plate of cucumber is equivalent to the water intake contained in a glass of water. It becomes the basis of well-known summer recipes in the region, such as Spanish gazpacho or Greek tzatziki .
Cooking, an original alternative
Not only reserved for raw vegetable buffets and other cocktails, but the cucumber also reveals an original facet after cooking. We rediscover a more melting cucurbit, with unknown flavours.
Only very quick-cooking, lasting a few minutes, can preserve the crunchiness of the vegetable. However, diced cucumber added to a stew or curry recipe will give it a special fondant.
In China, it is incorporated into a broth composed of mushrooms, soy sauce, ginger and crustaceans.
A recipe idea: the cucumber and chive smoothie
For 4 people: 1 cucumber, 1 new onion, ½ clove of garlic, 1 tsp. olive oil, ½ bunch of chives (including 4 sprigs for decoration), salt, pepper and 4 ice cubes.
Peel the cucumber and split it lengthwise to seed it with a small spoon. Then cut it into cubes.
Coarsely chop the onion. Place the diced cucumber and onion in the bowl of a blender (or blender). Add olive oil, coarsely chopped chives and ice cubes. Mixer. Season to taste (salt, pepper and chopped garlic).
Place in the fridge. Serve very chilled in glasses or soup plates. Garnish with a sprig of whole or chopped chives.