Summer salads and crudité platters (or hello, new favorite ritual of the summer,
Just wouldn’t be the same without crispy, crunchy, ice-cold cucumbers, right? Notice that I didn’t even mention the flavor of cucumbers—that’s how big a role texture plays in the appeal of a cucumber. But all too often, I find those bags of mini seedless cucumbers getting slimy and limp in the back of my crisper drawer before I even have a chance to dip them into my favorite hummus. And that’s just sad—if cucumbers aren’t nice and crunchy, there’s really no point. But cukes can stay perfectly crunchy in the fridge for at least a week if you know how to store cucumbers the right way. Ready to join the cool-as-a-cucumber (sorry, had to) pro club? Here’s how to do it:
Clean Those Cukes. When you bring your cucumbers home from (or harvest them from your garden perhaps, you lucky duck?), remove them from whatever packaging they came in (if any) and give them a rinse. You want to wash off any dirt or grime, and yes, even the vacuum-sealed seedless greenhouse cucumbers need to have their wrappers removed. If you see any mushy or moldy spots, cut the bad side off and eat that cucumber today. If they’re nice and clean and fresh, they’re ready to store.
Keep Them Dry. Make sure your cucumbers are thoroughly dry before you store them: excess water on the surface encourages spoiling. Once they’re dry, wrap them in a clean dish towel or paper towel—this will help keep any condensation or humidity at bay when you store them, which helps prevent sogginess, mold, and overall deterioration. Tuck Them Inside a Bag. Take your dry, wrapped cucumbers and tuck them inside a plastic bag like you’re tucking your swaddled baby into bed. You do not need to use a resealable plastic bag: a little airflow is a good thing, since it helps prevent condensation from collecting around your swaddled cucumber babies. If all you’ve got is a resealable plastic bag, just keep it open at the top.
Keep them Cold, But Not Too Cold. Put that bag into your fridge—but not the coldest part of the fridge, and most certainly not into the freezer. (Do you ever accidentally put things in the freezer thinking you’re putting things in the fridge, or is that just me?) The crisper drawer is an excellent place if you’ve got room in there. Your cucumbers should be safe and sound for about a week now, and you can keep grabbing them to make refreshing salads, relish, soups, and even cocktails, throughout the week.
Article credit: Epicurious
Photo credit: Tenth Acre Farm