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Cucumber Salad with Dill Sour Cream

5 cucumbers (about 2 1/2 pounds)peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded and sliced on an angle 1/4 inch thick
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh dill
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 small red onion, thinly sliced

In a colander set over a bowl, toss the cucumbers with 2 teaspoons salt. Let drain for at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours.
In a large bowl, whisk together the sour cream, apple cider vinegar, dill and sugar. Add the drained cucumbers and the onion and toss. Season with pepper.





Smoked Salmon Spirals

try this with the garlic chives and green onions…

1 daikon (Japanese white radish), peeled
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 tablespoon fresh dill, finely chopped or 1 teaspoon dried dill weed
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 teaspoons drained capers
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/8 teaspoon cracked pepper
4 ounces sliced smoked salmon, cut into 1-inch-wide strips 

Cucumber slices Fresh dill sprigs Lemon slices Using vegetable peeler, cut off thin 8×1-inch strips down length of daikon. Mix cream cheese, dill, parsley, capers, mustard, lemon peel and pepper in small bowl. Spread about 1 1/2 teaspoons mixture on 1 side of each radish strip. Top with salmon. Roll up tightly. Arrange spiral side up on platter. Garnish with cucumber, dill and lemon. Serves 12.

From: Bon Appétit March 1991

Baked Stuffed Potatoes with Corned Beef and Dill Butter

 4 russet potatoes (10 to 12 ounces each), scrubbed well
 2 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
 3/4 pound thinly sliced corned beef, coarsely chopped
 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill
 Pinch freshly ground black pepper
 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Rub each potato with 1/2 teaspoon salt and pierce twice with a fork. Place the potatoes on a baking sheet and bake until the skin is crispy and the insides are tender when pierced with a fork, 1 hour to 70 minutes.

When the potatoes have cooled enough to handle, use a sharp knife to slice off the tops. Scoop out the insides, leaving about 1/4 inch attached to the skin, and transfer to a bowl. Add the corned beef, butter, dill, remaining salt, and pepper to the bowl and mash well with a fork.

Stuff the potato skins with the potato mixture. Divide the topping among the potatoes and sprinkle with the cheese. Return the potatoes to the oven and bake until heated through, about 10 minutes. Run under the broiler for an additional 1 to 2 minutes, until golden brown and the cheese has melted.

This basic method of rubbing the potatoes with salt and baking without foil, at relatively high heat, gives a very crisp-skinned potato that’s ideal if you are the kind of person who likes to eat the potato skin. I certainly am, and this had become my standard baked potato method. Just make sure to use russet potatoes, which have a thicker and more crisp-able skin than thin-skinned red potatoes and Yukon Gold.

When I make these for Daniel, I just skip the cheese and dust the top with a little flaky sea salt.
Pastrami, a slice of coarse countr ham, leftover pot roast, are all terrific substitutes for the corned beef if you are not serving this for St. Paddy’s Day.


Watermelon and Tomato Salad

Watermelon is one of those fruits that I want to just cut and eat.  For years I made pretty watermelon baskets with cut up fruit for any party or event that I was hosting.  The cut up fruit disappears, everyone loves it.  Combining watermelon with tomatoes is something that seems to be very popular right now.  Try this recipe yourself and form your own opinions.

Watermelon for many years was thought to have a high sugar content.  Now it has been said that you can be better hydrated with a piece of watermelon than just a glass of water.

Again here is a piece of summer that is staying with us in September.  Enjoy!

8 cups 1 1/4-inch chunks seedless watermelon (about 6 pounds)
3 pounds ripe tomatoes in assorted colors, cored, cut into 1 1/4-inch chunks (about 6 cups)
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons chopped assorted fresh herbs (such as dill, basil, and mint)
6 cups fresh arugula leaves or small watercress sprigs
1 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 5 ounces)
1/2 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted

Combine melon and tomatoes in large bowl. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and toss to blend; let stand 15 minutes. Add 4 tablespoons oil, vinegar, and herbs to melon mixture.  Season to taste with pepper and more salt, if desired.

Toss arugula in medium bowl with remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Divide arugula among plates. Top with melon salad; sprinkle with feta cheese and toasted almonds and serve.


Boursin Cheese (Homemade)

Every year I prepared this cheese with my students as a part of a lesson about herbs. Everyone loved it!  Now that we have all of these herbs growing in our gardens it might be the perfect time for you to prepare and serve.

•    2 garlic cloves
•    8 ounces butter, at room temperature
•    16 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
•    3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese (freshly-grated)
•    1 tablespoon fresh dill, minced or 1 t dried dill weed, crumbled
•    1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano or marjoram
•    1 Tablespoon minced basil
•    2  teaspoons fresh chopped chives
•    1/2 teaspoon black pepper
•    1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme, crumbled
•    2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

Have cheeses and butter at room temperature.

Crush garlic.

Beat together the cheeses, butter and garlic until smooth.

Add remaining ingredients, mix well.

Pack the cheese into a container just large enough to hold the boursin and store in refrigerator.

To serve, bring to room temperature.

Serve with slices of French bread, bread sticks or crackers.

Adapted from:

Easy No-cook Pickles

Safe canning is all about making sure there is no chance of bacteria. Wash the canning jars with hot soapy water. Drain on a clean towel. Do not dry. Place the jars, the lids and the rings into a boiling water bath. Boil for at least 15 minutes. Remove and allow to drain and air dry. Do not dry jars with a kitchen towel.
You will need canning tongs to remove the jars from the boiling water.

In a non-reactive pan, heat together:
1 ¼ c of water
1 c. distilled white vinegar
3 T kosher salt

Heat to boiling. Be sure the salt is dissolved.  Keep at a simmer until you are ready to pour into the jars.

6-8 Kirby cucumbers, thoroughly washed
1 Serrano chili pepper
6 garlic cloves
Sprigs of dill and dill flowers


Slice pickles cut out any bad spots and the stem end. Stuff as many cucumber slices into each hot clean jar as will fit. Leave a ¾” at the top of the jar. Add a couple of whole peeled cloves of garlic and several sprigs of fresh dill and a slice of hot pepper and a few peppercorns.  Pour the hot brine over the cucumbers, leave a ¼” at the top. Wipe the jar top. Place the lids on top and tighten with the rings.  Age for at least 2 days in the refrigerator.  These pickles must be stored in the refrigerator, not on a shelf!

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