It’s the dog days of summer. It’s hot. It’s humid. I’m sort of over it.
Okay – full disclosure. It really has not been a bad summer here in the midwest. Well compared to the last few. We’ve managed stay out of the triple digits – most of the time. But man, it’s humid. I am so over having a bad hair day. Everyday. For 2 months.
So I’m trying to hold on to my enthusiasm for summer fresh vegetables. But really I’m dreaming of making hot soups for cool fall days. I’m looking forward to finding the first stalk of Brussels sprouts and proudly displaying it in my kitchen. But alas, I think summer is planning to hold on for some time more. I mean know I’m pushing it – it’s not even Labor Day yet, what am I thinking?
As I push those thoughts of fall out of my head, I try to get excited about the cucumbers I have in my kitchen. Cucumbers are a great vegetable for a hot and humid summer day, right? What says cool and refreshing more than a cucumber salad, right? Hmmm, well maybe a nice glass of rosé. Right.
Okay focus – back to the cucumbers. Oh yes cucumbers. Cool and refreshing. Ever wonder why cucumbers are so cool and refreshing? If you ask me, they must have some sort of internal air conditioning. No matter what the temperature is the internal temperature of a cucumber is about 20 degrees cooler than the air! Crazy, right?
You know what else makes them so refreshing? Their high water content – a whooping 96% – making them one of the most hydrating foods. And have you ever see those pictures of people with cucumbers over their eyes? There’s a very good reason for that. Cucumbers contain anti-inflammatory compounds that help reduce skin irritations and swelling. So next time you head on out to sit in the sun don’t forget the sunscreen – and the cucumbers!
As these days of summer press on, try and keep yourself cool and refreshed. Me? I’ll admit – I’m still dreaming of fall, but in the meantime I’m enjoying this cucumber salad to beat the heat.
What cool and refreshing ways have you used cucumber to beat the heat?
- 1 lb cucumbers, diced
- 1 lb radish, diced
- 2 scallions, chopped
- ¼ cup fresh dill, chopped or 1 tablespoon dried dill
- 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes, optional
- ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon buttermilk
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- salt and pepper
- Make the dressing: Mix together the Greek yogurt, dill, garlic, red pepper flakes, and buttermilk. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the diced cucumber and radish.
- Mix to combine and let sit for about 30 minutes to let flavors blend.
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