In a salad cucumber is usually included to add a bit of crunch, and a light, bright taste of summer; but let’s be honest, it hasn’t got that strong a taste has it?
Well, you might be surprised to know that there’s more to cucumber than meets the nose… or the taste buds. If you heat it something extraordinary occurs. Its flavour intensifies and deepens while it loses its watery crispness. This recipe explains how you can successfully cook cucumber.
Cooked this way this vegetable will hold its own in a lunchtime ménage à trois with some garlicky prawns and a warm potato omelette.
If you save the cucumber peel and you have some mint over add it to a jug of iced sparkling water – very refreshing!
Recipe for hot cucumber with thyme and mint
- 1 cucumber
- Couple of walnuts of butter
- Sprig or two of mint and lemon thyme
- Smoked salt and Indonesian long pepper
- 2 tbsp of low-fat yoghurt – for some reason, the more liquid, low-fat type goes better with this dish
- Heat a small serving dish
- Peel the cucumber using a potato knife
- Put a couple of walnuts of butter into a smallish frying pan and warm
- Cut it in half lengthways, and scoop out the seeds in the middle using a teaspoon. Then cut each half lengthways again and cut across into slices about 1 cm/½” thick
- As soon as the butter begins to foam (don’t let it start to burn) add the cucumber.
- Add a little salt and some generous grinds of pepper.
- Chop the leaves of the mint and thyme, leaving a couple of small leaves for garnish.
- Fry the cucumber for about five minutes – it should just be beginning to turn golden – to look clearly fried. Mix in the chopped herbs.
- Take the cucumber out of the frying pan using a slotted spoon, jiggling as you do to get rid of any residual wateriness, and arrange on the serving plate, top with the yoghurt, garnish and serve.