As the weather gets warmer, I like to do everything I can with cucumbers — including using up the peel. Like any good Southerner, I often make marinated cucumbers, or "refrigerator pickles." This quick mix of thinly sliced and peeled cucumbers, vinegar, sugar, salt, and chili flakes is a fail-proof and delicious side salad, but it always leaves me with a heaping pile of peels I hate to throw away.
With this cucumber-peel sandwich spread, I don't worry about the waste anymore. I make it anytime refrigerator pickles are on the menu, and keep it in the fridge for quick lunches on those days I don't feel like cooking.
I particularly enjoy this spread in the summer, when I can serve it with a thick slice of fresh tomato. You can chop the prosciutto and fold into the mixture, or leave it out to make this vegetarian. If I'm feeling particularly decadent, I top the sandwich with a few extra slices of meat. Nothing tastes better than a cool sandwich after a hot morning on the beach. Add a side of potato chips and a cold lemonade for the perfect meal.
Cucumber-Peel Sandwich Spread
1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Peel from 1 (12-ounce) English cucumber, coarsely chopped
2 packed cups watercress or arugula, finely chopped
2 slices prosciutto, chopped (or 1/4 cup bacon pieces, or speck, or whatever you have on hand), optional
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large bowl add the cream cheese and mustard until combined. Fold in the cucumber peel, greens, and prosciutto, if using. Fold in the greens and prosciutto, working them into the mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve on toast or a baguette with slices of fresh tomato.
- This takes a minute to come together. I find it easiest to press or smash the ingredients into the cream cheese with the back of a wooden spoon as I fold.
- For a richer version, replace the cream cheese with soft goat cheese, or mix the two.
- Feeling lazy? This spread is also good scooped onto crackers and inserted directly into mouth.