Thursday, August 13, 2009

Heirloom Lemon Cucumbers

Until I bought the seed packets a few years ago I had no idea that lemon cucumbers were considered heirloom veggies.

When we first move to the farm a neighbor brought over some that she had grown and they seemed very strange to me...about the size of a baseball but shaped and colored a bit like a lemon. They have a very refreshing cucumber flavor, a nice crisp crunch and are really easy to grow from seed. They are also pretty, adding a sunny punch to whatever dish they are added to. You don't even need to remove the skin, so that gives extra health benefits. She said her family had been growing them for years but nothing about the heirloom bit.

All of a sudden I seem to be finding ripe lemon cucumbers in the garden. I planted quite a few plants since the seeds all seemed to sprout and produce fine looking seedlings. The mini heat wave we are having has brought on all kinds of ripening...even the tomatoes are starting to show some color.

Prep is really easy. I washed them off, cut the stem end off, just a little bit, and then cut them into wedges, and halved the wedges. I cut a really large locally grown (although not in my garden)beefsteak tomato into pieces about the same size. The addition of a scallion added bite and the dressing had both balsamic and apple cider vinegar to play off of the olive oil. You could used finely chopped red onion instead of the scallion and add some fresh basil if you have it handy. Summer in a bowl with sweet and savory, soft and crunchy all together.

This salad benefits from some time chilling to let the flavors meld. I like it icy cold, but you could also take it to a picnic because it is OK at room temperature, too.

Anh of a Food Lover's Journey is hosting Herb Blogging Weekend this time. This is my entry and I took the liberty of copying the information so that you can join in the fun if you want to:

Weekend herb blogging this week (10 Aug – 16 Aug): This event was originally created by Kalyn and it is now in the care of Haalo.

Rules of WHB can be read here.

Please send your entry to Anh by:3pm Sunday - Utah Time10pm Sunday - London Time11pm Sunday - Rome Time7am Monday - Melbourne (Aus) Time (times have been adjusted for changes in daylight saving)

Send your post to anhnguyen118[at]gmail[dot]com with the following details:

• Your Name

• Your Blog Name/URL

• Your Post URL

• Your Location

• Attach a photo: 300pix wide

Heirloom Lemon Cucumber Salad with Tomatoes
Serves 2-4

2 – 4 lemon cucumbers
1 – 2 large tomatoes (heirlooms if you have them)
1 scallion (green onion), chopped, including the green parts
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Optional but good – chopped fresh basil

Cut the lemon cucumbers into bite sized pieces. Cut the tomatoes in bite sized pieces.

In a salad bowl, combine the lemon cucumbers, tomatoes, and scallions. Set aside.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the two vinegars, then whisk the olive oil into the vinegar mixture in a thin stream. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Pour the dressing over the vegetables and stir to mix well. Cover and chill at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours to let the flavors combine.

Serve chilled.


  1. What an usual ingredient, never seen it or heard of it. Wish I could get my hands on some seeds this side of the planet!

  2. This sounds like a great summer salad. I've been curious about lemon cucumbers for a while now, and I think you've inspired me to grow them next year.

  3. What a beautiful and yummy way to use those gorgeous lemon cukes. So colorful and refreshing looking. I would love to join in on this challenge soon. There are so many 'challenges' in the food bloggong world now, that it's so hard to choose which ones to take part in!

  4. Oooh, we LOVE lemon cukes! They're far better than anything else, except maybe Armenian cucumbers. Yum!

  5. What a summer treat! I've not seen or heard of lemon cucumbers but I just have a good feeling I'd really love them. Gorgeous colors. Wish I could share some of my basil "weeds" or you could call them basil bushes either way, my backyard is overflowing with them ... and I love it.

  6. Rose, A good seed saver program would probably have the seeds. Renee's Garden is the brand I used:

    Kalyn, They are so easy to grow and produce well. Above is a good source.

    Lisa Michelle, This is a great challenge and has been around a while, only getting better with time :)

    DaviMack,Never tried Armenian...maybe next year :)

    Tanna, I suspect you would love them. Them make a really nice salad addition, but are good in sandwiches, too. Would probably make pretty pickles...usually none left for pickles 'cuz I eat 'em. I have basil, but not like yours...sounds like mucho frozen pesto in your future :)

  7. Anonymous4:03 PM

    I have found lemon cucumbers growing on the side of the road in my rural community in Crosby Texas. It has taken me a couple of days to figure out what they were. At first my wife and I thought they were a small mellon or gourd. There are hundreds of them and my wife plans to pick some for seed and some for the table.