8.22.16 Peanut Chile Cucumbers
Every year, I plant cucumbers from seed in our backyard vegetable garden with varying degrees of success. Some years they do well, some years (ahem, 2015) I’m lucky if I get more than a 1 or 2 cukes. What I was totally unprepared for was the veritable cucumber explosion that is this summer.
Whether it was the new soil in our raised bed this year, the plentiful hot weather and rain, or even the new variety of cucumber seeds I planted this year (A&C Pickling Cucumber from Seed Savers Exchange), something is different this year. This year, I’m up to my eyeballs in cucumbers, harvesting 8-10 per week for the last several weeks. That’s a lot of cukes.
I mean, cucumbers are great and all. But when you have so many, one has to get a little creative. And so, I’ve been making pitchers of agua fresca and jars upon jars of pickles. I’ve been making them into salads, and snacking on them straight up, sometimes with a generous sprinkle of furikake to liven things up. And still they keep coming.
It’s cool though. For one thing, I like cucumbers a lot, which helps. I mean, it’s not like we’re overrun with beets or something. For another thing, trying to find new, interesting uses for them is a fun challenge. That’s how I came up with this tasty cucumber-centric snack. I’m always trying to find new ways to make regular old sliced cukes more exciting, so I decided a to whip up a quick dressing of cilantro, thai chiles, fish sauce, and peanuts, and it was just what I needed. It transformed my humble cukes into a spicy, crunchy snack that go perfectly with a cold beer. I call that great success.
Peanut Chile Cucumbers
- 1 cup (loose packed) fresh cilantro leaves and stems, roughly chopped
- 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
- 1 Tbsp fish sauce
- 1 Tbsp canola oil
- 2 thai chiles, roughly chopped (can add more or less depending on heat level preference)
- 1 large garlic clove
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- ½ cup roasted peanuts
- 2 cups thinly sliced cucumbers
1. Combine the cilantro, lime juice, fish sauce, canola oil, chiles, garlic, and brown sugar in a food processor, and process until finely chopped and well combined.
2. Add the peanuts, and pulse until peanuts are chopped fine, about 20 seconds. Mix peanut mixture with sliced cucumbers and serve. Leftover cucumbers can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for several days.