It’s that time of the year again, when the cute little lemon cucumbers come out at my local farmers’ market. I can’t help buying a few every time I see them — before I know it, the rolly polly little things have hopped into my shopping bag.
Besides being cute, lemon cucumbers are delicious! They are extra crunchy and have a lighter flavor than regular cucumbers, and they are perfect in this summery salad of sliced cukes, heirloom tomatoes, and reduced balsamic vinegar.
About that vinegar — if you ever end up with a bottle of not-that-great balsamic, a great way to improve it is to reduce it to a thicker consistency. The resulting syrup pairs deliciously with savory tomatoes and cucumbers, but it is equally amazing on strawberries and vanilla ice cream. A real chameleon in the kitchen, you’ll be glad you made a batch! It keeps in the fridge for ages, too.
I don’t really have to give you a recipe for this salad — I simply sliced up four lemon cucumbers and two heirloom tomatoes, arranged them on a platter, and then topped them with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar syrup, a sprinkle of kosher salt, and a few grinds of black pepper.
1 1/2 C. Balsamic Vinegar
1. In a small (1 qt) heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the vinegar over a medium-low flame. Simmer until it has reduced to about 1/2 C. and has taken on a syrupy consistency. Cool to room temperature.