Green Sunrise Smoothie with Almonds:
1 cup fresh or frozen chopped mango
1 cup peeled, seeded and chopped cucumber
3/4 cup apple juice
1/2 cup (packed) baby spinach
2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1. In a blender, puree mango, cucumber, apple juice, spinach, mint and lemon juice until smooth, about 1 minute. Pour into a glass and serve with almonds.
Cucumber Gin and Tonic
2/3 cup gin
1/2 English cucumber, thinly sliced crosswise
1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 1/2 cups ice cubes
1 cup tonic, chilled
1. In shaker, muddle gin, cucumber, cilantro and lime. Cover; shake vigorously. Divide ice between 2 tall glasses; top with gin mixture, then tonic.
Chilled Watermelon Soup
5 cups diced seedless watermelon
1 cup diced seeded peeled cucumber
1/2 cup chopped seeded plum tomato
4 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1/2 cup crumbled feta
1/4 cup torn basil
1. In blender, puree 4 cups melon and 1/2 cup cucumber with the tomato and vinegar; season. Freeze until cold, 10 minutes. In medium bowl, combine remaining melon and cucumber with feta; season and mound in bowls. Pour soup around melon-cucumber mixture; top with basil.
Pan-Seared Salmon with Potato & Cucumber Salad
1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced lengthwise
1/2 pound small new potatoes, halved
4 tablespoons white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 English cucumber, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise
1/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
4 skinless salmon fillets (6 oz. each)
1. In a medium bowl, cover the sliced onion with cold water and soak to mellow the flavor, about 15 minutes; drain.
2. Meanwhile, place the potatoes in a medium pot; add enough water to cover by 1 inch. Salt the water, add 2 tbsp. vinegar and bring to a boil over medium-high. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain; rinse under cold water until cool.
3. In a large bowl, whisk the remaining 2 tbsp. vinegar, 2 tbsp. oil and the mustard; season with salt and pepper. Add the cucumber, parsley, onion and potatoes; toss to coat. Divide among plates.
4. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 1 tbsp. oil over medium-high. Pat the salmon dry with paper towels, season and cook without moving until golden, 4 minutes. Flip and cook until salmon flakes easily with a fork, about 4 minutes more. Serve on top of the salad.
Spicy Stuffed Cucumbers:
1 pound small cucumbers (such as Kirby or Persian), ends trimmed, cut into 1-inch-thick rounds
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 large Fresno chiles – stemmed, seeded and cut into ½-inch pieces
2 – 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 cup distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
1. Place the cucumber rounds on a work surface and carefully cut a slot in the center of each. Sprinkle the cucumber rounds with the salt, then rub the salt in. Let stand 2 hours.
2. Rinse the cucumbers and pat dry. Stuff each cucumber round with 1 to 2 slices each of the chile and garlic. Pack the cucumbers tightly into 2 pint-size canning jars.
3. In a liquid measuring cup, combine the white vinegar, Chinese five-spice powder and 1 cup water. Pour over the cucumbers, making sure they're completely submerged. Screw on the lids. Let stand at room temperature 24 hours. Refrigerate at least 3 days before eating. (The pickles are best eaten within 3 weeks.)