How to Buy, Store and Cook with Cucumbers

How to Buy, Store and Cook with Cucumbers
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By Danielle Walsh

Fun fact: Cucumbers are actually fruits. But like tomatoes, they're prepared and eaten as vegetables. Their juicy, almost thirst-quenching texture is a staple in summery Mediterranean-leaning salads, but you'd be surprised how good they are when they're roasted or sauteed. And of course, there's almost nothing more refreshing than a cucumber cocktail on a hot summer day. Check out our tips for storing and buying these cool fruits, and read on for recipe suggestions.

Although cucumbers are available year-round, summer is when you'll see the best choice of varieties at the market. Look for cucumbers that are firm, not shriveled, with bright-looking skin. Pass on any with soft spots or cuts in the flesh. Because they lose moisture quickly, cucumbers are often bred with thick skins and sealed with wax to extend their shelf life. Special, thin-skinned varieties are worth seeking out because they're more slender and flavorful, and have smaller seeds. To protect the skins, these types of cucumbers are often sealed in plastic.

Stash cucumbers unwashed in a sealed plastic bag in the warmest part of the fridge. Use them within a few days.

Check out our slideshow above to learn three recipes with cucumber that are perfect for summer.

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