April 4, 2013

Sweet & Spicy Cucumbers

I may have mentioned this before, but I didn't truly discover my love of cooking until I got married. I knew how to cook, but I wasn't obsessed yet. I hadn't reached my current state, where the last thing I think of when I go to bed, and the first thing when I wake up, is food. (Maybe not always, but often!) Maybe it was the challenge. When we were first married, The Geologist gave me a pretty extensive list of vegetables he would not eat. I was determined to convert him. And guess what?? I've checked almost every item off that list.

From hated classics like brussels sprouts (saute them with bacon!) to every-day ingredients like onions (soften them in butter first) I've won him over. The only two outstanding veggies left are mushrooms and cold tomatoes. I can live with those. Together we've become foodie food snobs. I love a challenge. Lay 'em on me! And now I can add one more to the list! He doesn't hate cucumbers. but he's not a huge fan. Guess what... he likes these!! Now I just have to get him to like asparagus and my life will be complete... I love asparagus!

Sweet & Spicy Cucumbers (adapted from Our Best Bites)
Printable Recipe

2 English cucumbers, peeled and sliced (You can use regular cucumbers too, I like English better)
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 cup rice wine or cider vinegar
1/4 cup cold water
2 Tb sugar
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (I heaped mine :)
1 Tb minced red onion (optional)

Place cucumber slices in a small bowl. Sprinkle with salt and toss well. Move the cucumbers to a colander/wire strainer and set over the bowl. Let sit in the fridge for 1 hour. Toss them a few times during their draining time. Meanwhile, prepare the marinade.

Combine vinegar, water, sugar and red pepper in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cook until reduced to about 1/4 or a little less (about 10 minutes). If for some reason you boil for too long, just add a little water. Remove reduction from heat and add onion (if desired). Let mixture cool to room temperature.

When cucumbers are done resting, pat them dry with a few paper towels and then toss with the vinegar reduction. This can be served immediately, but for best results refrigerate until well chilled before serving.
I left little bits unpeeled, just because I think they're prettier that way. I love how crunchy English cucumbers are!
These would be the perfect side at a summer picnic or barbeque! They're still cold, crisp, and refreshing, with a bit of heat, a bit of tang, and a hint of sweet. They're super yummy! 
Besides, The Geologist likes them. That's about the best endorsement as I can give you!


  1. Roast some asparagus, lightly coat spears with olive oil, salt and pepper, at 450 degrees for ten minutes or so, it made my daughter love asparagus.

  2. I have to agree with MM, roasted asparagus is great. I roast them at a high temp with some olive oil and seasoning, then I sprinkle them with some Parmesan cheese and pop them back in for the cheese to melt. Then I take out and spritz with some white balsamic. TO DIE FOR! I could make a meal of it, and sometimes do!

    The Toddster hates cucumbers too. Maybe it's a man thing???
    Love you much. xxoo


Your comments really DO make my day, and I promise to try and reply to each and every one, either through email or on here :)