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THE DISH ON EATING LOCAL CUCUMBER

3 ways you can enjoy discovering local cucumber in your area!

1. Find Cucumber at your Local Market

Not only is eating local cucumbers good for you, they are also good for the environment and your community! According to Local First Arizona Foundation, “Local agriculture builds healthy soils, which facilitates increased carbon sequestration and leads to cleaner air; less agricultural runoff keeps drinking water clean and improves wildlife habitats; and composting and recycling diverts food waste from landfills and reduces the amount of methane released into the environment.”

You can find cucumbers all across Arizona. Here are some of the local farmers markets where you can find cucumbers in your area, and contribute to growing your vibrant community! 

2. Eat Cucumbers at your Local Restaurant

Many local restaurants endorse sourcing out some of the best ingredients, but do they use local ingredients? Here is one such restaurant we have discovered that uses local cucumbers in this wonderful dish by Chef Dirk Flanigan called Cucumber Salad with Peppers, Mint, Basil, & Brown Sugar Dressing. Below is the information to find out more on this location and restaurant.

Merkin Vineyards Tasting Room & Osteria

Location: There are 3 locations in AZ!

Caduceus Cellars since 2009
158 Mn St Jerome, Az 86331

Merkin Vineyards Osteria since 2016
1001 Mn St Old Town Cottonwood, AZ 86326

Merkin Vineyards Scottsdale 2019
7133 E Stetson Ste 4
Old Town Scottsdale, AZ 8525

Website: merkinvineyards.org

To find more local restaurants sourcing local ingredients click here!

Recipes change all the time and viewers should check with all restaurants to find out what’s on the menu currently.  

3. Learn a Recipe to Make it Yourself

Want to discover how to make this local cucumber dish? Watch the video on just how easy it is to bring Farm to your table.

Serving Size: 4
Prep time: 25 minutes

Chef Dirk Flanigan's Cucumber Salad with Peppers, Mint, Basil, & Brown Sugar Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium cucumbers
  • 2 hot red peppers
  • 15 mint leaves
  • 10 basil leaves

Procedure:

  1. Wash cucumbers, then cut cucumbers into random bite sized shapes – some wedges, some rounds, some short spears.
  2. Using various types of cucumber will give the dish more appeal.
  3. Slice hot red peppers into ⅛-inch rounds.
  4. Wash and detach mint leaves, keep stacked gently with damp towel.
  5. Wash and detach basil leaves, keep stacked gently with damp towel.
  6. Chiffonade mint and basil leaves.

For dressing:

  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar, divided
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • ¼ cup iced water
  • Salt to taste
  • White pepper to taste
  • 3 ounces olive oil
  • ⅛ teaspoon xanthan gum
  • ½ teaspoon crushed chili

Procedure:

  1. Heat half the vinegar.
  2. Dissolve brown sugar.
  3. Add garlic.
  4. Cool with remaining vinegar and iced water.
  5. Place in blender.
  6. Blend until solids are liquefied.
  7. Add salt and pepper.
  8. Slowly add olive oil.
  9. Add xanthan gum, blend to emulsion.
  10. Finish with crushed chili.
  11. Taste for seasoning.
  12. Toss cucumbers into mixing bowl, add 1 ½ ounces brown sugar dressing.
  13. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  14. Add red peppers and herbs. Mix.
  15. Plate appropriately in a tight bowl, approximately 1 cup per serving.

COOL AS A CUCUMBER

Want to know more about local cucumbers?

Cucumbers are amazing. They offer so much more than a fun way to terrorize your cat (watch this link if you don’t know what we’re talking about).  Aside from being delicious and nutritious, cucumbers are great for your skin, great for relaxation, and great as a general household aid.  If this sounds surprising for what you might otherwise consider just a salad ingredient, read on!

Cucumbers were first cultivated in India over 3000 years ago where they were used as a food as well as a medicine.  They were brought from there to the Middle East, north Africa, and eventually Ancient Rome and Greece. The Romans used cucumbers to cure many maladies, and also included it in a good number of supernatural remedies.  Emperor Tiberius loved them so much that he demanded they always be on his table, regardless the season. With the fall of the Roman Empire, cucumbers also fell out of favor. It wasn’t until the Renaissance when they had another resurgence.  Today, cucumbers are grown around the world and are the fourth most cultivated vegetable.

While the Romans may have been a bit off with supernatural remedies, cucumbers do have some wonderful properties that are helpful and healing.  Cucumbers are 95% water and, while not loaded in vitamins, do provide a healthy dose, particularly of vitamin K and the B vitamins. Because of this, a cucumber is a great alternative to a caffeinated drink in the afternoon to provide an energy boost.  They’re also great to combat hangovers and snack cravings. When boiled in water, cucumbers release their chemicals and nutrients that create an aroma that is soothing, relaxing, and has been shown to reduce stress in new mothers as well as college students during exams.  Rubbing cucumbers on a sunburn provide instant relief. If you have bad breath, hold a cucumber slice up against the roof of your mouth with your tongue – the phytochemicals will kill the bacteria that causes it. And there’s a reason that spas put cucumber slices over your eyes during facials and other treatments – they cool the blood and ease facial swelling and puffiness.  

Cucumbers contain the lignans lariciresinol, pinoresinol, and secoisolariciresinol.  While still being studied, scientists are looking into links between these lignans and the reduced risk of certain cancers, including breast, ovarian, colon, and prostate cancer.

Cucumbers are surprisingly great around the house as well.  Rubbing pen or crayon with their waxing coating can actually work to remove the marks.  Rubbing a sliced cucumber on your bathroom mirror will not only keep it from fogging up but will also provide a pleasant, spa-like aroma as the room steams up.  Likewise, rubbing a sliced cucumber on your shoes provides a great option if you forgot to shine them. They also do a great job on squeaky hinges when you rub it with a sliced cucumber.  And if you want to add a bit more shine to your faucets, sinks, stainless steel, etc., rub them with a sliced cucumber – it removes tarnish and built-up residue while bringing out a beautiful, clean shine without streaking.  

Like squashes and watermelons, cucumbers are in the gourd family that people assume are vegetables but are actually fruits.  Cucumbers are divided into three major varieties – slicing, pickling, and seedless. Slicing and pickling are pretty self-explanatory – the larger variety you slice for salads and other recipes are the slicing cucumbers, also known as Persian cucumbers; and the smaller variety used to make pickles are… you guessed it.  Seedless cucumbers are also known as English, gourmet, or burpless cucumbers, because they are thought to create less gas due to the lack of seeds. Cucumbers are a wonderful and cooling ingredient in salads, and work great as the foundation of their own salads.

When shopping for cucumbers, their skin should have a bright, even color without dullness or sweating.  It should be firm right through to the tips. Look for a fleshy cucumber but not too large. Smaller cucumbers are crisper and have finer seeds, which may make them more appealing to kids and other picky eaters.  If a cucumber has blemishes, yellow spots, or soft spots, avoid it. And like other fruits, you shouldn’t store cucumbers in the refrigerator. They are sensitive to cold and fare much better on the countertops at room temperature.  Also, avoid storing near fruit like melons, tomatoes and bananas as they’ll cause the cucumbers to deteriorate and yellow quickly. And don’t be surprised if you find some cucumbers sealed in plastic wrap – it’s used to retain moisture as these cucumbers haven’t been sealed with wax.

Buying local cucumbers is beneficial to the local economy, good for the environment, and support a healthy lifestyle.  When we purchase cucumbers from a local market or farmers market, we make an active choice to know exactly where our food is coming from.  With all the farmers right here in the state of Arizona, we can be assured that your produce is being taken care of from the seed to the market stand.

2019-05-31T18:19:57+00:00