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 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. 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.
June 27th, 2016 at 1:08 pm
June 27th, 2016 at 1:17 pm
Judi- These recipes are both even better if you add rose water.
June 28th, 2016 at 9:19 am
Tim, every time I see that tv ad featuring the food-truck owner putting pb & j on a triscuit, then loading it up with lemon zest, I think of you. 😬
June 28th, 2016 at 11:16 am
my two cent’s worth : sweet mimicks the feeling of love, you must be lovimg yourself enough. Sounds good.
I’m definitely going to give your cucumbers a go.
stacey snacks says:
June 28th, 2016 at 12:30 pm
Just made the charred Persian cukes…..WOWZA! So good! Who’da thunk it?
I made a tahini pomegranate mollasses crema. Thanks for posting Tim.
stacey snacks says:
June 28th, 2016 at 12:31 pm
PS now every time I sprinkle lemon zest on something, you pop into my head!
The same will now happen for that awful rose water (which is so bad, btw). :)
June 28th, 2016 at 12:57 pm
omg that pizza is based on my ALL TIME FAVORITE from Prince st pizza in NYC….must make immediately!! also, charred cucumbers – who would have thought?! will have to give that one a try too!! :D
Fernando @ Eating With Your Hands says:
June 28th, 2016 at 1:15 pm
Need this nauw!
June 28th, 2016 at 4:05 pm
That pizza… seriously… the best…
Kali Tate says:
June 30th, 2016 at 11:10 am
Those crispy pepperoni, though..
June 30th, 2016 at 11:52 am
Shiv saw this picture and said “Mama, let’s make THAT for pizza night next time.” And so we shall!
June 30th, 2016 at 6:18 pm
Charred cucumbers? What a genius idea. I will definitely try this.
And as for that gorgeous pizza? I loathe pepperoni, and even I want to eat it.
P.S. I second the person who thinks of you every time I see that stupid Triscuit commercial. Yuck. Who the hell puts lemon zest on PB&J?
July 6th, 2016 at 8:15 am
That pizza looks excellent!
p.s. I finally took up your recommendation to visit Yusho on a recent visit to Chicago and it was my favorite meal of the weekend. Thank you!
July 14th, 2016 at 7:26 am
Phew, massively relieved the pizza has no cucumber in it, charred or otherwise. Looks delish. I feel like for an alternative crema you could do tahini + lemon + garlic, perhaps thinned with some water?
July 27th, 2016 at 9:58 am
We made it; it tasted like my childhood, like roller skating birthday parties & happiness. Shiv loved it, too. We’re making it again this Friday!
July 29th, 2016 at 5:40 pm
Made the cucumbers (with kirby or something like that, since that was what I could find) this week and the pizza a couple of weeks ago. Both were first-rate. Will have to wait awhile before I make the pizza again (so much cheese!), but I plan on charring some more cukes soon.
August 11th, 2016 at 11:35 am
I’ll take the pepperoni pizza anytime. I didn’t know cucumber can be charred. Interesting recipe.
September 8th, 2016 at 7:12 pm
Tim! Have you heard of Grandma Pie? Just search bon appetit grandma pie for more ideas. I love pizza like this, and it is so easy and so delicious. I’m bringing one to a friend’s place on Saturday for dinner, and that’s the entirely of our plans.
I don’t know the rose water joke but that just made me throw up a little bit.
September 27th, 2016 at 8:47 am
You just blew my mind with these charred cucumbers. It’s really that easy? Will be making these right away.
December 2nd, 2016 at 11:35 am
The charred cucumbers. GAME CHANGER. “The char turns them into proper vegetables” was the perfect way to describe this. I also threw in some tomatoes and topped with a little feta and it was delightful. Thanks so much for yet another great recipe!
Jan Morrison says:
February 3rd, 2017 at 6:13 am
When I was 11, 53 years ago, our family drove from Colorado Springs to San Francisco. We saw lots of things – the Grand Canyon, the Petrified Forest,the edge of Las Vegas… we went to Chinatown and I bought a wee Chinese cookbook. Back home I made a Chinese meal – duck was on the menu, but what I really remember was a dish called Slices of the Moon. Cucumber slices pressed thin, dipped in oil and sesame seeds and fried. Thank you for reminding me. God I was a weird child!