Tasty things to do with cucumbers

They're not just for salads


Why, you might ask, do you actually need a day for cucumbers? Are we not already staggering under the weight of Potato Day, Cheese Week and Truffle Month?

But, if you think about it, there are some good reasons to celebrate the elongated fruit. Yes, in spite of what it says on the self service tills at Lidl, the cucumber is a fruit. And, watermelon aside, there's nothing that will refresh you on a hot day as well as a cucumber. You don't even have to eat them - slices laid over your closed eyes while you lie down for ten minutes will do you the world of good on a stressful day. And that's just enough time for your nearest and dearest to make you one of the recipes below.

It's the essence of summer

If you've never had really a fresh cucumber sandwich on a hot summer's day, you've missed out. Some swear by unsalted butter and white bread, others by salted butter on brown or granary bread. Some people peel the cucumber, others don't. The only thing that really matters is that is hasn't been left to sweat in a plastic box or wrap, or had the flavour chilled out of it in the fridge.

If you like chilled cucumber, then why not have a go at a refreshing chilled cucumber soup, or include them in a summer salad such as Greek village salad with feta cheese or fattoush (bread salad).

It's the perfect side dish

If you've ever overdone it with the chilli and spices in a hot curry, reach for the cucumber and yogurt and make up a quick cucumber raita to go with it. They also make a great tzatziki, which is lovely with lamb or chicken, Or pair them with oily fish, as in the really easy recipe in the video above, or squid, as in Gok's chilli and salt squid with cucumber salad.

Drinks that might just save you from dehydration

With just 16 calories per 100g, cucumbers are a source of potassium, vitamin C and vitamin K. They are also thought to have anti-inflammatory qualities and be beneficial to digestion and your skin. Make the most of their juicy goodness in a morning drink such as glowing greens juice, and - this is especially good if you've overdone it the night before - the rehydrator. If you've underdone it the night before, feel free to slip a couple of slices into a refreshing gin and tonic and hydrate away.