April 25, 2014

Cucumber Appetizer Cups

Cucumber Cup Close Up

It is officially potluck, picnic, and BBQ season. And when it comes to entertaining, there’s nothing easier than grabbing some crackers, a few hunks of cheese, and calling it a day.

Wait, I take that back. There IS something easier. Prettier. Lower in sodium. Healthier. More versatile. Fresher. And did I mention prettier?

I’m talking about these cucumber cups that you can fill with anything your stomach desires. So forget about  envy or longing you have for those old boring cheese platters. And let the fresh flavors of cucumber make your dish the standout star at your next edible gathering.

This is how you make magic happen.

First, buy a big English cucumber (or two or three depending on how many people you plan to serve). They tend to have less of that mushy, seedy center than other cucumbers and have a slimmer shape. They must work out.

The next step is optional, but it sure does add flare. After you wash that cucumber,  simply take a vegetable peeler and peel lines along the length, making a thick pinstripe. Very classy.

Cucumber Crudite

Then, cut 1 1/2 to 2-inch thick slices of cucumber. And finally, here’s the real genius, take a 1/4 teaspoon and scoop out the center of the cucumber. It’s the perfect size and it makes perfect little cucumber balls. Which, if you’re up for being a real Martha Stewart, you can save and freeze and use as ice cubes to cool of that tall pitcher of water. WHAT?! Yeah, that’s some entertaining gold right there.

Cucumber Cups Filled

To finish these cucumber cups, simply fill with anything you want. Keep it simple and mix Greek yogurt with fresh herbs and spices. Make an egg salad or a shredded chicken salad. Mix up some avocado. Dice up some fresh corn and nectarines. Or even fill with cooled sesame oil-coated noodles (or vegetable noodles!) and a sprinkle of hot pepper.

Remember to play with colors, textures, and your favorite tastes. And experiment with something new  with every cucumber.

Cucumber side shot

And if you live in the Bay Area, you can even come taste these cucumber cups live and in person this weekend at the HAZON JEWISH FOOD FESTIVAL! Which will feature everything from a food styling and photography workshop with the Bay’s own Erin Gleeson (aka The Forest Feast, aka her book just came out) and a Dumpling and Spring Roll class with another local hot shot, Gabi Maskowitz (aka Broke Ass Gourmet, aka ABC Family is making a show about her). And of course a class and tasting on Big Flavors from Whole Foods led by me (aka, there will be cucumber cups).

By Erin Gleeson

So if you’re in the mood to learn about food, make food, and eat food, please join us this weekend. And CLICK HERE for information and tickets.

Chow on and happy Friday.



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