Tag Archives: cucumbers

Misato Radishes and Random Nut Cheese

misato radishes and random nut cheese

The little watermelon-like veggies in the box are called misato radishes. I first encountered them locally at an open house for doGood Consulting, where a friend of mine featured local foods prepared by a local chef. I remember having a good time, petting a hairless wonder-cat (adorable!), and sampling these intriguing (and delicious) radishes. I am not a huge fan of radishes. Sometimes they give me an (extremely rare) case of heartburn. I guess pretty food matters!

The misato variety of radish, appropriately dubbed “watermelon radish”, is a winter variety. I was surprised by the lack of information on this variety when searching for “misato radish”. A search for “watermelon radish” reveals a bit more. The taste is much like a regular radish: a mix of sweet and peppery. I peeled my radish before slicing, but I don’t think that’s necessary. I also skipped the very spicy and bitter slices near the end. The outer flesh has a lot more bite, and the end slices which contained most of that flesh weren’t tasty. Radishes have nearly as much potassium as a banana, and are a good source of fiber.

Misato radishes may pop up at farmers markets in the fall, or at your local co-op in the middle of winter. This radish is from Blue Moon Farm.

I enjoyed my radish as a snack with some cucumbers and a vegan cashew cheese spread. The recipe is random, and contains about 1.5 cups of soaked raw cashews, some white miso, garlic, white pepper, rice wine, liquid smoke, smoked paprika, and salt. It’s like a smoky cheese spread.


Teri’s Cucumber Pasta

Teri's Cucumber Pasta

Vegan MoFo 2011 - Vegan Month of FoodThis cool summer pasta salad could not be simpler. It is great for a potluck, where I was introduced to it by a colleague. Thanks for the recipe, Teri!

Any small pasta shape would work, but wagon wheels and rotini hold onto the sauce. Teri’s recipe calls for sugar, but I prefer to use agave nectar. Pasta has a high glycemic index already.

Teri’s Cucumber Pasta

Makes 8 servings.

2 large cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and diced
1 lb pasta, such as wagon wheels or rotini, cooked
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup agave nectar
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly-ground black pepper
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley or dried parsley flakes

In a large bowl, whisk together apple cider vinegar, agave nectar, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and parsley. Add cooked pasta and cucumber, and stir to combine. Chill, and serve.


Fresh Gazpacho

This nutrient-rich cold soup is easy to make in a blender and keeps well in the refrigerator.

fresh gazpacho

5 roma tomatoes, cored and cut in half
1 cucumber, halved and seeded, unpeeled
3 yellow, orange, or red bell peppers, seeded
1 small yellow onion
1 tbsp tomato paste (I used a concentrated version from a tube)
3 garlic cloves, pressed
1/4 cup parsely, finely chopped
1/4 cup seasoned rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tbsp kosher salt (or to taste)
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Grab a blender and a bowl large enough to hold your finished gazpacho. It’s a good idea to choose one with a lid, so you can refrigerate the soup later.

Roughly chop the onion, cucumbers, and bell peppers into 1-inch cubes. First blend the cucumber and onion, pulsing until finely chopped but not completely pureed. You want a few chunks to be left. Pour the cucumber and onion mixture into the bowl. Next, blend the peppers to the same consistency, and add them to the bowl. Lastly, place the tomatoes and tomato paste in the blender, and pulse until small chunks remain. Add to bowl.

Stir in pressed garlic, parsley, vinegar, oil, salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to let the flavors develop. Serve ice-cold.

Refrigerator Dill Pickle Slices

refrigerator dill slices

Dave says these are “the best pickles ever.” A gallon jar usually lasts about a week around here. I use tons of garlic and a good-quality blend of pickling spices from Penzeys. (We like the star anise.) The slight red hue on this batch comes from dried chipotle peppers, crumbled into the jar across each layer. The result is crunchy pickle slices with a lot of heat and smoky flavor.

2 cups apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup canning salt
1/2 cup (packed) fresh dill
1 medium white onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
6-9 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
3 1/2 to 4 pounds cucumbers, scrubbed and sliced (I used four of the english variety cucumbers, and 1/4 inch slices)
4 tbsp pickling spice (I used Penzeys)
2-3 dried chipotle peppers, crumbled (optional – if you like them spicy!)

Sterilize a 1-gallon glass jar and lid by immersing in boiling water for 10 minutes. Remove from water, and set aside.

In a large non-reactive saucepan, combine 6 cups water, cider vinegar, sugar and salt. Bring to boil, reduce heat to low, and then simmer mixture while proceeding with recipe.

Place a third of the dill in bottom of jar. Top with a third of the onion and garlic.

Arrange 2-3 layers of cucumber slices over garlic. Sprinkle with 1 tbsp of pickling spice and 1/3 of the chipotle peppers, if using.

Continue layering until jar is full, packing jar tightly.

Place jar in sink, and carefully pour in hot vinegar mixture into jar to fill it completely. Gently shake jar to dislodge any air bubbles. Allow mixture to sit for 5 minutes.

If using metal lid, line with a piece of wax paper or plastic wrap before fastening lid to prevent corrosion.

Allow mixture to cool to room temperature. Remove jar from basin, and wipe clean with damp sponge.

Refrigerate jar for at least 24 hours before eating. These pickles will keep for up to a year in the refrigerator, but will probably not last that long!

refrigerator dill slices