Every week at the West Tisbury Farmers’ Market it is such an adventure to walk between stands and see how the produce is changing. The season always starts off with lots of fresh greens including kale, spinach, lettuces, and so on. Then, some of the root crops show up including radishes, turnips, and onions. It really starts to get crazy when the fruits arrive – first strawberries, then summer squash and now, come late July, cucumbers. We are still waiting on tomatoes, but for now, let us celebrate cucumbers as July’s Harvest of the Month.
Cucumbers are made up mostly of water, and as such are a refreshing snack on a summer’s day. Enjoy sliced cucumbers with hummus for a protein-packed light lunch on a hot day. Mix things up and add them into water with some lemon and basil for a new flavor.
There are so many different types of cucumbers that it’s worth tasting them all to find which is your favorite. The very long, twisty, often striped Armenian cucumbers have a sweetness to them. Round and yellow, the heirloom lemon cucumber has an almost sour flavor. The list goes on: Japanese, slicing, pickling, and more.
With only about two months from seed to harvest, there’s still time to plant some cucumbers to enjoy at the end of September.
Pick up cucumbers from a local farmer and try Chef Robin’s Raita recipe.
Cucumber Raita, serves 4
- 3 medium-sized cucumbers, peeled and chopped
- 2 cups plain yogurt
- 1/2 tsp. cumin
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 Tbs. cilantro, chopped.
Combine cucumbers, yogurt, cumin, and salt. Garnish with chopped cilantro. Enjoy with lamb meatballs or falafel.