There are not many things produce wise that I have not seen or that I am not familiar with. While out on the Rotar Homestead I was introduced to the lemon cucumber. The first time I saw it, it was cut in half and Sophie (the dog) was going to town on it. I had no idea what it was. While in the garden getting my mondo zucchini I was asked if I wanted a few lemon cucumbers to take home. Of course I said why not?!? So now of course I must make a recipe that would incorporate this odd little item.
So I asked my good friend Pinterest (I’ve started using Pinterest the way some people use google, it’s just better!) what the hell is a lemon cucumber???
The Lemon cucumber is a spherical, oval-shaped broad fruit that grows two to three inches in length. Changing color as it matures, its early, lemon-yellow color turns a golden-yellow as it ripens. The mild, pleasant taste is complemented by a cool, crisp texture. Resembling a lemon in appearance, the flavor is more delicately sweet and less acidic than the common green cucumber. Similar to a kiwi, Lemon cucumber skin has tiny bristles that are edible but may be easily removed.
Homemade Falafel with Lemon Cucumber Tzatziki Sauce
- 3 cups chick peas that have been soaked overnight (measure after soaking)
- ½ medium red onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 small hot chile pepper (I used a jalapeño)
- a large handful of parsley
- a large handful of cilantro
- the zest of 1 lemon
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 1 tbsp ground turmeric
- 1 tbsp ground coriander
- ½ tbsp salt
- ½ tsp baking soda
- vegetable oil for frying
-Rinse the chickpeas in water and put into a large bowl. Cover with lots of cold water and soak for 12 hours, or overnight. Rinse, drain, and then measure. You should expect them to triple in size.
– Finely chop the onion, garlic cloves, herbs, and pepper. Add to the blender or food processor. Process until minced. Just scrape down the sides some as you go. Put aside into a large bowl.
-Add the drained chick peas in batches (about one cup at a time if you are using a blender) and pulse until they start to break down. Scrape down the sides and process until the mixture is finely ground and holds together when pressed between your fingers.
-Put the mixture into a bowl and lightly mix in the salt, baking soda, cumin, turmeric, and herb mixture. Do not compact the mixture.
-Scoop out small portions which your hand and press together tightly in a small patty. The batter is very fragile if you have a food processor I think that will make things easier. Put patty on top of spatula and lower into the oil. This will help it stay together if you try to drop it in it will fall apart (trust me lol) Shallow fry in vegetable oil until nice deep brown (5-6 minutes) Drain on a wire rack.
-Serve hot with Tzatziki sauce and herb pilaf (pilaf was super easy, mix with fresh herbs, add feta and olives)
- 1 ½ Cups Greek yogurt
- ½ cup minced lemon cucumber (skin removed and seeded)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
- 1 clove grated garlic
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- Juice of ½ lemon
Remove skin and seed lemon cucumber. Mince finely. Combine all ingredients together cover and refrigerate for at least an hour. Season with more salt and pepper if needed.
I would have to say this was the most difficult recipe I have made to date for the blog. It really pushed my limits and creativity. This recipe is not for the faint of heart but, cut yourself some slack the flavors are so wonderful it’s going to turn out great either way! This recipe was so fun and I hope you’ll give it a try. Make it with another QT for added fun! Use the tips I gave and if you have any other questions comment below!