Monday, August 15, 2011

Lemon Cucumbers

A week ago, I was driving north on Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu when I noticed a handpainted sign advertising "Fresh Figs." This was exciting, because as I hinted in an earlier post, figs are right up there in the "sexiest fruits ever category." I left a little tire tread on the pavement as I quickly maneuvered the car off the highway and onto the dirt road, and up a few hundred feet to a little family-run farm store.

Sadly, they had sold out of figs, but they did have some freshly picked ripe peaches that proved to be among the juiciest, most full-flavored peaches in memory. My wife and I each filled a paper sack with them, and then I spied what looked like little yellow gourds. I picked one up and looked at the teenager in charge. "Lemon cucumbers," he said. Of course I had to buy a couple--I simply can't meet a new edible plant and not become acquainted.

The skins were a little tough, but quite chewable--which is a good thing, because sure enough, the insides look just like regular cucumbers, with essentially the same taste, and without the unusual outer appearance, I'd have nothing new to show for the exercise (except for the peaches, that is).

I had bought two, and they are small--about the size of a large lemon, so I was able to try only one application, but it made a pleasant summer dish.

I quartered them lengthwise and then cut thin slices., to which I added some finely diced red onion, fresh lemon juice, EVOO, salt, pepper, and chopped parsley. Not really anything terribly exotic, but perfect for a hot day, and now I've added yet another new vegetable to the ever-growing list. It still amazes me that even after over 30 years of cooking, traveling and eating, I'm still coming across edible plants I've never seen before. It's one of several reasons I love what I do.


No comments:

Post a Comment