Julia Child's Baked Cucumbers With All Variations

Total Time
1hr 50mins
Prep
20 mins
Cook
1 hr 30 mins

This recipe comes from Mastering the Art of French Cooking, 1961. 'If the natural moisture content is now withdrawn beforehand, cucumbers exude so much water as they are heated that you usually end up with a tasteless mush and swear never to cook cucumbers again. Blanching for 5 minutes before cooking will remove unwanted water, but also most of the cucumber flavor. A preliminary sojourn in salt draws out the water and also the bitterness, if they are the bitter European type, yet leaves the flavor, which a little vinegar and salt accentuates. We have found the following method delicious, and suggest it for all cooked cucumber recipes. Baked cucumbers go with roast, broiled, or sauteed chicken or veal.

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Ingredients

Nutrition

Directions

  1. Peel the cucumbers.
  2. Cut in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds with a spoon.
  3. Cut into lengthwise strips about 3/8 inch wide.
  4. Cut strips into 2 inch pieces.
  5. Toss the cucumber in a bow with the vinegar, salt and sugar.
  6. Let stand for 30 minutes to several hours.
  7. Drain and pat dry in a towel.
  8. Preheat oven to 375.
  9. Toss the cucumbers in a baking dish with the butter, herbs, scallions and pepper.
  10. Set uncovered in the middle level of the preheated oven for about an hour, tossing 2-3 times, until cucumbers are tender, but still have a suggestion of crispiness and texture. They will barely color during cooking.
  11. Variation One: Parslied Cucumbers.
  12. In a warm vegetable dish toss with 2 Tbsp minced parsley.
  13. Variation Two: Creamed Cucumbers.
  14. Boil 1 cup whipping cream until it has reduced by half. Season with salt and pepper, fold into the hot baked cucumbers, sprinkle with parsley and serve.