Cucumber Madness: Cucumber recipes to empty your garden and fill your belly.

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I live in Southwestern Virginia and the cucumbers are just starting to come in. While I love my cucumber simply sliced with a dash of sea salt, there are about a million other ways you can prepare cucumbers to eat. Here are a few of my favorite recipes I’ve found.

Pickling Spices
Quick Small Batch Dill Pickles. Add some pickling spices and vinegar to your sliced cucumbers for some delicious dill pickles! This recipe calls for calls for only about a pound of cucumbers and makes a small, quick batch. All you need are about 4 cucumbers, white vinegar, water, pickling salt, garlic cloves, peppercorns, pickling spice or flaked red pepper, fresh dill, and a handful of fresh olive leaves to promote crispness. They’ll be ready in a month’s time. You can find the recipe here. Alternately, if you don’t want to wait, then be sure to check out this recipe for Easy Homemade Refrigerator Dill Pickles that are ready the next day!

Of course not every cucumber can made into a pickle, so here are some more yummy ideas for summer eating with cucumbers in play.

1. Ginger & Cucumber Sake Cooler. Libations with vegetables are not new. But this combination is sure to refresh you even on the hottest days. This recipe from Culinary Musings combines fresh ginger, cucumber and mint with some sake, vodka, club soda, and a touch of powdered sugar. While you can drink your concoction right away, you’ll find that infusing the sake beforehand with the ginger, mint and cucumber will make a for a more satisfying flavor.

2. Celebrate an outdoor affair or tea time with this Cucumber-Watercress Sandwich Recipe from The Loving Spoonful. The recipes calls for English cucumbers, sandwich bread, unsalted butter, watercress leaves – these are my favorite! – coarse salt, and radish, onion or sunflower sprouts.

3. Make a delicious cucumber salad perfect for eating cold straight out of the fridge courtesy of bakedbree.com. This salad makes a great side dish but is also perfect for snacking if you’re trying to not let the Cheetos tempt you. It’s made from a combination of cucumbers, onions, dill, and salt and pepper to taste with a mixture of vinegar, water and sugar that’s been boiled, the cooled for a dressing.

4. Tzatziki, the yogurt and cucumber dip. This delicious dip recipe from My Greek Ambition can be eaten on a variety of foods from bread to meat. It’s homemade from Greek yogurt, and english cucumber, garlic cloves, dill, EVOO, vinegar and a dash of salt. It’s quick and easy to make and is ready to eat after being chilled for 2 hours in the fridge.

What are your favorite dishes to make with cucumbers?