July Garden Update- Zucchini or Cucumbers Anyone, PLEASE?
It is that time of the year when we need to come up with creative uses for zucchini and cucumbers. After using zucchini for pancakes, bread, muffins, stir-fry, sheep fodder and doorstop it is time to concentrate on some cucumber recipes. We have a pretty good supply of pickles from last year so I planted slicing cucumbers this year. I wonder if a cucumber a day keeps the doctor away? If so I should be in pretty good shape. Cucumber chunks make a great snack, but there is so much more! We had Mexican night and I realized that I didn’t have any tomatoes to make the fresh salsa. After a quick glance into the refrigerator I decided to try cucumber salsa, and it was pretty good.
For my fresh salsa I use:
Tomatoes, or in this case Cucumbers
Diced Bell Peppers
Diced Jalapeño Peppers
Whole Mustard Seed
Vinegar Balsamic or Apple Cider
Add ingredients to taste. I like lots of onions and cilantro, but others might not want as much so make it to suit your tastes. If you want to enjoy cilantro after the garden season ends, just pick it and freeze the whole stalk. Even after it has been frozen it still tastes great in salsa.
We used the cucumber salsa on burritos. It was surprisingly good AND has the nice benefit that it remained crispy for a few days. Tomato salsa usually will only remain good for a day or so before it starts to get mushy.
In an effort to prevent the cucumbers from taking over the kitchen we even found a recipe for cucumber bread! I was a little skeptical, but it was quite good. If you like zucchini bread it is very similar, are you seeing a theme here? Although, it is hard to say if you are really accomplishing anything by making it from cucumbers with all the zucchini also piling up.
Cucumber Vines on Trellis with Sweet Corn
The beans have been picked and it is time to make some dilly beans. I will add more about that soon.
I started a new strawberry bed in the spring. They are looking good, if they winter well we should have a good supply of strawberries next June.
Strawberry Raised Bed with Corn and Beans in background
The tomatoes are pretty late, it has been a weird year. A few more weeks and it will be time to make spaghetti sauce!
I pulled out most of the lettuce and planted some more onion sets. With all the heat the lettuce was beginning to get bitter. I did leave a few plants to go to seed so that I can collect them for a fall planting after it cools down. I use every inch of the raised beds and often get more than one crop from a space during the season.
Onions Sets in Raised Bed with Cilantro
What is growing in your garden? Do you have any great recipes for cucumber or zucchini?