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Cue the cuke and celebrate one of nature’s finest vegetables

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They’re delicious, refreshing and so versatile. And you’ll find them everywhere – at your local grocery store or supermarket, and soon-to-open farmers’ markets. They’re cucumbers – and they taste and smell of spring and summer eating.

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Cucumbers are very low in calories – a cup of sliced ​​cucumber contains only 14 calories – and are a source of vitamin C. According to Foodland Ontario, greenhouse cucumbers in particular are one of the oldest cultivated vegetables and have been grown for about 4,000 years, plus they are available year-round.

They don’t need to be peeled as there are no seeds to remove, and the skin contains most of the nutrients. They can be enjoyed raw, in salads or sandwiches, or even steeped in stock, butter and cream. And nothing beats a cool cucumber soup.

So go ahead – and cue the cucumber for your next meal! And enjoy the following recipes courtesy Foodland Ontario (

Garden Fresh Cucumber Risotto – Foodland Ontario
Garden Fresh Cucumber Risotto – Foodland Ontario Photo by supplied /Foodland Ontario

Garden Fresh Cucumber Risotto

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This delicious recipe utilizes the versatility of a microwave. Stir in shredded greenhouse cucumber for a fresh taste and colorful appearance. Be sure to use Italian-style rice. It gives the best results. Serves 4.

1/4 cup butter

1 cup sliced ​​fresh mushrooms

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 cup uncooked Italian-style (such as arborio) rice

1 can (10 oz/284 mL) condensed chicken broth


Half cucumber, shredded, and squeezed dry

1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

salt and pepper

Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

In 9-inch square glass baking dish, microwave butter at High (100%) 1 minute or until melted. Add mushrooms and onions; stir-to-coat. Microwave, uncovered, at High 4 minutes. Stir in rice, chicken broth and one soup can of water. Microwave, uncovered, at High 9 minutes; stir well. Microwave, uncovered, 9 minutes longer. Remove from oven. Stir in cucumber, parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Let stand 5 minutes, stirring several times. Stir in cheese and serve immediately.

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Note: Microwave recipes tested in a 700-watt microwave oven. Power level terminology in microwave ovens varies; check your owner’s manual and use whichever word or number gives you the same percentages as in the recipe (High is always 100%).

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Cucumber Vichyssoise – Wiktory/Getty Images
Cucumber Vichyssoise – Wiktory/Getty Images Photo by Wiktory /Getty Images

Cucumber Vichyssoise

The traditional version of vichyssoise is a delicious cold soup created by a very famous French chef at The Ritz Carlton Hotel in New York City. This updated version adds the fresh flavor of cucumber. Serves 4.

1/4 cup butter

1/2 cup chopped onion

3 cups chicken broth

2 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped

1 large greenhouse cucumber, coarsely chopped

salt and pepper

1/2 cup light cream

Chopped chives or green onions

Melt butter in large frypan; add onion and cook about 5 minutes until softened. Add chicken broth and potatoes; cook, covered, about 15 minutes until potato is tender. Cool slightly; puree along with cucumber in blender in several small batches until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until well chilled; add cream. Serve sprinkled with chives.

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Lamb koftas – Foodland Ontario
Lamb koftas – Foodland Ontario Photo by supplied /Foodland Ontario

Lamb Koftas with Cucumber Yogurt

Serve these flavorful koftas with cucumber yogurt, grilled pita bread and a chopped Ontario greenhouse salad. Serves 6.

750g ground lamb

250g regular ground beef

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup chopped fresh parsley

1 Tbsp dried mint

1-1/2 tsp. ground coriander

1 tsp. each ground cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice

1 onion, grated

2 slices dry or lightly toasted white bread

Salt and pepper, to taste

Cucumber Yogurt:

2 cups plain yogurt

1-1/2 Tbsp. dried mint

1 greenhouse cucumber, seeded, grated and squeezed

1 clove garlic, minced

salt and pepper

1 lemon, juiced

Chopped fresh parsley

Chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet red peppers and red onions

In large bowl, combine lamb, beef, garlic, parsley, mint, coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. Squeeze grated onion to remove liquid; reserve liquid in medium bowl. Add onion to meat mixture. Soak bread in reserved onion liquid, for 3 minutes. Squeeze moisture from bread; add to meat mixture. Discard liquid. Season with salt and pepper; mix until just combined.

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Form mixture into 12 balls; roll into football shapes about 1-1/2-inches in diameter. Place on greased grill over medium-high heat. Grill, covered, for 4 minutes per side or until thermometer inserted sideways into center reads 160°F (71°C). Serve warm with cucumber yogurt, parsley, tomatoes, cucumbers, red peppers and onion.

Cucumber Yogurt: In a medium bowl, stir yogurt, mint, cucumber, garlic and pinch each of salt and pepper. Add lemon juice 1 tsp. at a time.

Cucumber Salad- Foodland Ontario
Cucumber Salad- Foodland Ontario Photo by supplied /Foodland Ontario

Cucumber Salad

Served as an appetizer or side dish, this Japanese inspired salad is crisp, cool and easy to make. Serves 4.

1 greenhouse cucumber, thinly sliced

1/4 cup white vinegar

2 Tbsp granulated sugar

1 Tbsp. toilet

2 tsp. i am willow

1/4 tsp. finely shredded gingerroot

2 Tbsp. sesame seeds

In medium bowl, place sliced ​​cucumber. In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, sugar, water, soy sauce and ginger. Pour over cucumber; stir well to coat. Chill for 15 minutes. Drain well, then squeeze dry. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

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