An Open Cookbook

An Open Cookbook


Baked Cucumbers

I know, a Baked Cucumbers recipe sounds really strange...but wow, what a great surprise they are!  At the beginning of this year, my friend and co-worker let me borrow her copy of Julie and Julia, which turned out to be the spark of my inspiration to start blogging.  This book led me to read many other similar books of peoples' culinary adventures.  And I gained a new appreciation for French cooking from this book.

So back to the cucumbers.  This concept does sound quite an unconventional thing to do to cucumbers.  When I heard about it, I thought they would undoubtedly be soggy and slimy.  But no!  Even in Julie and Julia, she has a dinner party and serves this, and everyone had the same reservations before trying them.  But everyone liked them and so did we. 

Another great thing about this dish is that cucumbers are something you may likely have in the fridge and it is a simple dish to whip up for guests.  The process of making them is really easy and mostly passive cooking, though you do bake them for an hour, so there is some planning that goes into it.    You have an option of what type of seasoning to use.  I chose dill, but Julia Childs suggests dill or basil.  Every time I cook from Mastering the Art of French Cooking, I follow the recipe without any diversions.  So what you see below will be exactly what Julia says to do. 

We also made the potato and leek soup, which is so simple and good.  We tried two methods of puree-ing the soup, one in the food processor and one with a potato masher.  Both were equally good, just different consistency.  Chicken and a few pieces of hearty bread made this a nice meal.

Baked Cucumbers
From Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking
Yields 6 servings

6 Cucumbers
2 Tbsp wine white vingear
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp sugar

3 Tbsp melted butter
1/2 tsp dried dill or basil
3-4 Tbsp minced green onions
1/8 tsp pepper

Peel the cucumbers and cut in half lengthwise.  Scoop out the seeds with a spoon.  Cut in lengthwise strips about 3/8 inch wide.  Cut the strips into 2" pieces.  Toss the cucumbers in a bowl with the vinegar, salt and sugar.  Let stand for about 30 minutes (or a few hours).  Drain and pat dry with a paper towel.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Toss the cucumbers in the baking dish with the butter, herbs, onions and pepper.  Put in a baking dish (I used 9x13 glass dish).  Put in midlevel of oven for 1 hour, tossing occasionally.  Cook until the cucumbers are tender but still have a little crispness and texture.  They will basically look the same color as when you started.

Serve immediately as a appetizer or addition to a meal.  Bon appetite!

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