What do you do when you miss a couple of days at the vegetable garden and your cucumbers look like this? And when your tomatoes have not yet ripened to make gazpacho with those cucumbers? I have that problem right now. Because of the late frosts in our region of North Carolina, our garden started late. In previous years we were overflowing with tomatoes by now and I’d have already made several batches of gazpacho, tabouli and other great tomato/cucumber combinations. I harvest most every day and have already put up two gallons of dill pickles. We had a couple of days of rain last week and I put off the picking. The day after the rain, BassMan and I went out to the garden and along with a dozen perfect jerkin-sized cukes we brought these in.
They sat on my counter for a couple of days, a visual reminder of how quickly Mother Nature takes care of herself, while I decided what to do with them. BassMan had already eaten one of them, peeled, seeded and cubed for his lunch, saying they weren’t bitter. Tonight I decided to concoct something different in the reactionary method of cooking that describes my style.
I peeled, seeded and cubed one of the overgrown cucumbers and salted it good. Then I cut open a can of Rotel tomatoes with Lime and Cilantro (this is my all-time favorite Rotel variety and I always have them in the pantry), chopped some onions, tossed in some frozen corn (I would have used fresh off the cob if I had any on hand), and cubed a perfectly ripe avocado. I squeezed in some lemon, tossed it all together and refrigerated it until I was ready to serve dinner (beef and bean burritos smothered in ranchero sauce). The only thing I lamented was not having fresh cilantro (my second flush of cilantro is still too young) for a zingy finish.
If you were to try this at home, here’s what you need:
Southwest Cucumber Salad
(Reactionary Cooking by Carolyn Burns Bass)
One large cucumber, peeled, seeded and cubed (toss this with about 1/8 tsp salt)
One avocado, peeled and cubed
1 12-oz can Rotel Tomatoes with Lime and Cilantro
1/2 to 1 cup fresh corn (can use frozen)
1/4 cup chopped onions
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 tsp lemon juice
Toss all of the ingredients together, salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate for one hour for best flavor. Enjoy.