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Digest: Charred Cucumbers and Pepperoni Pizza

Recently I came across a recipe for some charred cucumbers. I’d never charred cucumbers before, what did I have to lose? (A cucumber, I guess.)

You should use little Persian Cucumbers for this, they’re less juicy which will serve them well in a hot pan. Heat up a cast iron skillet until it is very hot. In the meantime, slice your Persian cucumbers in half lengthwise and toss them in a bowl with some mild olive oil, salt, and pepper. Now that your pan is good and hot, carefully put your cucumbers, cut-side-down, into the hot pan. Let them sizzle away for a few minutes until the underside is charred. You’re done.

I got the idea for this from a Tory Miller [1] recipe I saw online. The original recipe called for a turmeric crema. The recipe for the crema was strange. It had an outrageous amount of sugar. Like, gross. I used a sixth of the sugar and still found it a bit too sweet. So, I’m not vouching for the crema. Basically, just make up your own business to serve with these. Start with a scoop of sour cream. Add some lemon juice and salt and pepper. You could stop there and be happy. I used a teaspoon of ground turmeric and a pinch of cayenne pepper in this version. I also topped with some chives and the grated almond that was recommended in the original. You could also do pickled onions or whatever tastes good to you.

Back to the cucumbers. They’re great. The char turns them into proper vegetables. I even liked them cold again the next day.

I also made a pepperoni pizza [2]. It was one of the best things I’ve made. The recipe is great, easy, unreasonably delicious. I modified the recipe slightly by baking on two quarter sheet pans rather than one half sheet pan, I like crust. These reheated really well. The second night I preheated a cookie sheet in a hot oven (375°F-400°F) and then placed the entire second pizza on it. Crisped back up beautifully and may have actually been more delicious the second night. Anyway, make this one. My next go I will top with hot giardiniera. This is now my thing. I make pizza.

I haven’t made anything sweet it a while. What do you think that means? I hope to remedy it soon and report back.