What is it?
The cucumber or cucumis sativus belongs to the gourd family and therefore related to courgettes, pumpkins and melons. Originating in ancient India, cucumbers have been cultivated for at least 3000 years. In addition to being a refreshing fruit (not vegetable!), cucumbers have long been appreciated for their skin healing properties. Stay cool as a cucumber and place cucumber slices on sunburnt skin for instant relief!
What to do with it?
Cucumbers are made up of 90% water making them a wonderfully hydrating addition to your summer dishes!
Give your sandwiches, tabboulehs and leafy salads an extra crunch with some sliced cucumber, tomatoes and a balsamic dressing. Or make the cucumber the star of the show with this fiery cucumber and charred onion salad. They make a delicious salsa too.
Cucumbers also make a great pickle to add to burgers or enjoying alone. Give these different flavours a go:
In addition to being a vital ingredient in a classic Pimms cocktail, they do well in other drinks including these gin cucumber coolers and this ginger and cucumber juice.
When is it in season?
July to October.