These two quick simple ways with cucumbers are from my book, The Cook’s Garden (NH $49.95) which is full of fabulous ideas for growing and cooking fruit and vegetables from your kitchen garden. Cucumber and borage flowers are traditional garnishes for the quintessential summer drink, Pimm’s. Or this year, you might prefer a Frose.
1. Borage Finger Sandwiches: Spread slices of thinly sliced white bread with softened cream cheese. Sprinkle with a little cayenne or chilli powder and finely shredded borage leaves.
Stack the slices to form two layers, trim the crusts and cut into bars. Top each sandwich bar with a tiny borage flower.
2. Summer Canapes: Cut slices of cucumber 2 mm (¹/8 in) thick. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt and leave to drain in a colander for 10–15 minutes. Wash off the salt and dry well. Onto each cucumber slice, put a dab of fresh ricotta or cottage cheese. Garnish with black sesame seeds and a small borage flower.
3. Cucumber Fingers: One hot, dusty summer in India my mother discovered this way of serving cucumbers. They became a big hit in our household. Choose 3 small to medium cucumbers. Wash them well. Halve and quarter them lengthways so they resemble fingers. You might need to slice some into eighths. Sprinkle the cucumbers with paprika and serve garnished with fresh coriander. Serves 6.