I love cucumbers. Judge me all you want, but there's just something about the crisp, refreshing crunch of a summer cuke. One of the few vegetables (or is it a fruit?) that tastes better raw than cooked, cucumbers are both delicious and versatile. Plus, the whole "negative calorie" thing means you can eat as many cukes as you want! They're mostly water, after all.
Some people hate cucumbers, but I think the key to enjoying their yummy flavor is in the selection and preparation of them. Regular ol' cukes, the kind most often found at American grocers, tend to have thick skin and lots of seeds. I always, always peel and seed these types of cucumbers before eating them, as the skin and seeds contain bitterness. When I can find them, I prefer the English and Persian varieties because the skin is thin and the seeds are minimal or nonexistent. These babies are great for salads, making dips like tzatziki, or just about anything you can imagine.
I will never turn down an adorable little tea sandwich, especially if they're of the cucumber-and-cream-cheese variety. This is one of those things that is so simple, yet so good. The folks at Southern Living make a mean cucumber sandwich, perfect for a ladies' tea or spring potluck. Here's how to make them: