Wednesday, July 25, 2007

What's Fresh Now: CSA week 8

green beans
shelling peas
Swiss chard
cucumbers, lots of cucumbers

A few related comments:
1. I love beans.
2. No more lettuce!
3. This time I'm not screwing up the Swiss chard. At my brother-in-law-the-chef's advice I'm going to blanch it in some really salty water for a couple of minutes, then saute it (though I patently refuse to blanch or saute it "off" as current chef speak dictates--no offense, B., it's just my own little losing usage battle) in olive oil with a whole lot of garlic.
4. I will make some nutritious use out of the cucumbers. I will probably slice one up for a snack in a few minutes, for instance. But mostly I will make Cucumber Drinks, my summer cocktail of choice for 5 or 6 summers running, ever since my friend J. from Leipzig-by-way-of-Zipolite introduced me to them.

Cucumber drinks (snazzier names welcome):
If you're like me, you grew up thinking of cucumbers fondly enough maybe, but ultimately as vehicles for vinegar and/or salt. One sip of this cocktail will turn you on to a subtle but sensuous pleasure that's been right under your nose all this time.

1 bottle of seltzer
1 bottle of ginger ale
1 cucumber

  • Peel your cucumber if it's waxy; if it's not, leave it alone because it will make the finished product taste that much more green.
  • Next, using a slicer or a sharp knife and a steady hand, cut paper-thin cross sections. You'll need a quarter cup or so per serving. I like making up a whole pitcher at a time, but you can do it glass by glass if you don't mind having to keep going back to the kitchen as people try them and decide they want their own.
  • Combine the shaved cucumber with (per serving) a couple of fingers of vodka, ice, and more or less (depending on how sweet you like it) equal amounts ginger ale and seltzer.
  • Steep for about 5 minutes and serve. If it's really hot and you're worried about the ice melting and the fizz fizzling before they're ready to go, you could steep the cucumbers in just the vodka ahead of time. I'm just never that organized.

1 comment:

cathye said...

that sounds delicious. even at 10 a.m.