Baked Cucumbers in Basil Cream*

When cucumbers are baked, thier characteristic crispiness gives way to a silky succulence. Bathed in a fragrent and creamy sauce, they become almost unrecognizably luxurious. Though you may be afraid that a dish based on cooked cucumber will taste watery, you will find that the marinated slices in this recipe are full of sweetly tangy flavor. Garnish this dish with thin slices of fresh basil for added color and taste.

Serves 4 - 6

  • 1 1/2 tblsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tst sugar
  • 4 - 5 cucumbers, peeled, halved length-wise, seeds removed, cut into 1-inch slices
  • 2 tblsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 scallion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tblsp chopped fresh basil leaves
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F
  2. Mix the vinegar, salt, and sugar in a medium glass bowl.  Add the cucumber slices and toss to combine.  Set aside to marinate for 30 minutes.
  3. Drain the cucumber slices in a colandar, then pat them dry with a clean dish towel.
  4. Put the cucumber slices in a shallow baking dish.  Pour the melted butter over them and add the scallion; toss to combine.  Bake the cucumber, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 45 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, heat the cream in a small pot until it comes to a light boil.  Continue to cook the cream, stirring frequently, until it is reduced to 1/2 cup, about 20 minutes.  Stir in the basil and turn off the heat; let misture steep for 2 minutes.
  6. Pour the basil cream sauce over the cooked cucumber slices.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

*From The Farmer John Cookbook
For more recipes and to order to book, visit Angelic Organics Farm/Farmer John Productions