Category Archives: cucumber

Salmon Appetizers with Cucumber, Dill, Red Onion and Creme Fraiche

These little guys are our go-to appetizers for almost every gathering, and they’re also the first things that disappear. They’re fantastic. For these appetizers, I’m psyched to be working with Wild for Salmon, a Pennsylvania company run by Steve, a thirty-something who went from Penn State to Idaho to Alaska, where he (luckily for us) learned how to catch this amazing wild salmon, and then decided to bring that skill, and those products, back to his home state. I’ve been a fan of Wild for Salmon for a couple years now, always buying it at Hillside Farms, but getting to see the business itself was awesome – it’s a family-run operation (I met Steve, his mom, his wife Jenn and their adorable daughter Ava Jane while I was there) and they really care about what they produce, and where it comes from. Steve and Jenn either go on regular fishing trips to Alaska for Wild for Salmon’s products, or they personally know the fisherman who catch it for them, which is really impressive. I used their Dill & Orange Gravlax for this recipe, which was perfect – there is no mistaking the difference between this and the usual farm-raised salmon that you buy at the grocery store. Get in touch with Wild for Salmon and treat yourself to the real deal. 

Thanksgiving is this week – bring these apps to wherever you’re going and watch them disappear in no time flat.

SALMON APPETIZERS WITH CUCUMBER, DILL, RED ONION AND CREME FRAICHE (makes about 40)
– Sturdy Potato Chips (Kettle is good, but you can always make these yourself – & please do, because they’re awesome, simple & way healthier for you than the ones you buy at a store)
– 1/2 English Cucumber, chopped 
– 1/2 Red Onion, minced
– Fresh Dill
– Creme Fraiche – we used this Lemon-Dill sauce and that was terrific, or you could always just use cream cheese

1. Get everything grouped into little stations for quick assembling.

2. Chop the cucumber and mince the red onion.


3. Get out Wild for Salmon’s gorgeous Dill & Orange Gravlax. 

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Summer Salad: Watermelon, Avocado and Cucumber with Herbs

I don’t know about you guys, but for me, summer doesn’t really begin until I’ve had at least one watermelon (“I carried a watermelon?). They feel like such a summer indulgence, and they’re one of my favorite bases for salads. This combo of watermelon, cucumber & avocado is perfectly sweet, crunchy and creamy, and the lemon-lime dressing pulls it all together. Throw in some chopped fresh basil, mint and chives and dig in. Nobody puts Baby in the corner. 

SUMMER SALAD: WATERMELON, AVOCADO AND CUCUMBER WITH HERBS (serves 4)
– 1 English cucumber, peeled and diced
– 2.5 C. seedless watermelon, cubed
– 1.5 avocado, cubed
– 5-6 basil leaves
– 4-5 mint leaves
– small handful of chives
– Juice of 1/2 lime
– Juice of 1/2 lemon
– 5 tbsp. EVOO
– 1 tsp. Herbamare, or 1/2 tsp. kosher salt & pepper mix


1. Dice the peeled cucumber (if you can’t find an English cucumber, seed a regular one and use that), and put the pieces in some paper towels to drain it a little bit.


2. Dice the watermelon into about the same size pieces as the English cucumber, wrap that in towels too, so that drains.

3. Make the dressing – juice the lemon and the lime, then add the Herbamare or kosher salt/pepper blend. Mix so the seasonings react with the acids of the lemon/lime mixture.  Add the EVOO, stir (or shake) well to combine.

4. Roughly chop up all the basil, mint and chives. 

5. Add about half the cucumber and half the watermelon to a pretty big bowl. Dice the avocado into similar-size cubes and add half of that to the bowl. Add the remaining cucumber, watermelon and avocado. 

6. Add the dressing evenly over the top of the salad. Then add herbs. 

7. Mix, serve and enjoy. This doesn’t keep well, but chances are it’ll be gone before you have to worry about that.




Tzatziki Sauce

The best part about this sauce is this: it is way easier to make than to spell.

With that, the greatest Tzatziki (dammit.  every time.) sauce for anything that needs a lemony, cucumber-y, garlic-y kick to it. I used this on top of spinach and feta turkey meatballs and a mediterranean quinoa, and it was perfect.

TZATZIKI SAUCE (makes about 1.5 cups)
– 1/4 english cucumber, peeled and coarsely grated
– 1 container plain Greek yogurt (the one I used was almost 6 oz.)
– 1 tsp. fresh chopped dill
– Juice of 1 lemon
– 2 cloves garlic, grated
– a little salt & pepper

1. This is tough. Ready?

2. Combine everything. Taste, season, chill & enjoy.


Cucumber Roll-Ups stuffed with Avocado-Feta Mousse

My parents had a little dinner party at their house, and we all kind of went overboard with our contributions. I made these cucumber roll-ups and those pear, prosciutto & honeyed goat cheese apps, my dad made his incomparable filet mignon with merlot reduction sauce, and my sister made this insane blackberry, lime & olive oil cake. And my mom just made everything look beautiful, as always.  Anyway, these are super simple, really delicious and healthy too! Brendan helped me make them and he was all, “they’re like little cucumber burritos!” which…yup, I can see it. You can use just about anything as a filler, but you know how I looooves me some avocado & feta.

CUCUMBER ROLL-UPS STUFFED WITH AVOCADO-FETA MOUSSE (makes enough for 8 people as apps but only if you have a bunch of other little delicious apps, too)
– 1 english cucumber, washed, skin on
– 1 avocado
– 1/3 c. feta
– 1 tbsp. dill
– juice of 1/2 a lemon

1. Make the avocado-feta mousse. Dice the avocado, then mash it well.  Combine with the dill, lemon & feta. Taste, then adjust seasonings as needed.


2. With a vegetable peeler or a mandoline (I can’t use these, they truly truly freak me out), shave the cucumber into very thin slices. 


3. Take a small spoonful of the avocado-feta mousse and spread it over each slice of the cucumber. Roll and either secure with a toothpick, or leave as is.



4. Serve and watch your family enjoy. Make a mental note to try and make everything as beautiful as your mom always does. 


(Don’t worry. We went for a 7 mile waterfall hike the next day to burn this all off!)