Sautéed Cucumbers ♥

Sautéed Cucumbers
Today's easy cucumber recipe: For all of us, including me, who stop at 'salad' when thinking what to make with a surplus of cucumbers, here's a new take, a quick sauté. Not just vegan, "Vegan Done Real".

We're eating like rabbits this year. Wait, that's not quite right, let me say it differently.

The truth is, we are not eating like rabbits because the neighborhood bunnies are. They munch-and-crunch on the garden's baby zucchini and nascent tomatillos while the resident humans chew on cucumbers the size of bats, all the rabbits deign to leave behind. The resident Mr. McGregor has declared war, preparing for battle with the big guns: bottles of hot sauce and jars of cayenne pepper.

Back to the cucumbers. I've cooked cucumbers twice this week and both times was pleased how the gentle cucumber flavor emerges while much of the crunch, albeit softer, remains.

The first time, I sautéed the cucumbers with onion and crispy bits of leftover homemade corn tortillas, then stirred in some fresh tarragon. Would you think to put an egg over top and call it breakfast? I did and applause ensued. The second time, I cooked the cucumbers with bits of commercial corn tortillas which might have gotten crispy if I'd allowed more time or more oil, then stirred in strips of fresh basil. This made for a succulent side dish, tasting way more rich and fresh than imagined.

Cucumbers: they're not just for salad anymore. Even the rabbits are thinking about trying them cooked.


Hands-on time: 10 minutes active plus occasional attention throughout
Time to table: 20 minutes
Serves 4

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, cut in large pieces
Corn tortillas, optional (primarily for texture contrast)
1 pound cucumbers, peeled if the skins are tough, seeds scooped out if large, cut into large chunks
Salt & pepper to taste
Fresh herbs - tarragon or basil, for example

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil on MEDIUM HIGH until shimmery. Add the onion and tortillas (if using) as they're prepped, stirring to coat with fat. Add the cucumbers as they're prepped, stirring to coat with fat. Let cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is cooked and the cucumbers are warmed through and mostly cooked but still retain a bit of crunch. Season to taste, stir in the fresh herbs, serve and savor.

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This recipe is so quick and easy that I'm adding it to a growing collection of easy summer recipes published all summer long in 2009 at Kitchen Parade, my food column, and now again in 2010. With a free Kitchen Parade e-mail subscription, you'll never miss a one!

© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2010
Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. AnonymousJuly 29, 2010

    That sounds good, I'll try it -- thanks very much.

    Years ago, I saw Jacques Pepin on TV make a vegetable stew that included chunks of cucumber -- he said it was a Caribbean recipe that he learned from his wife's family in Cuba -- it had tomatoes & onions too, quite good. I've never been able to find the recipe again.

    That's the only other time I've seen cooked cucumbers, unless you count Cucumber Bread, which is very nice:

    I enjoy your weekly e-mails -- keep up the good work.

  2. Anonymous ~ Thanks for the nice words AND the cucumber recipe, everyone's loaded with cucumber now!

    I like your stew idea too, I think I might start with Summer Vegetable Stew, perhaps adding cucumber or maybe substituting it for the summer squash.

  3. Eating like rabbits, made me smile instantly.

    I don't eat cucumbers that often, less cooking with them. This I will have to try,


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna