Without a doubt one of the strangest foods I have ever prepared during a hearth cooking demonstration was forced cucumbers. The word “forced” implies these are stuffed cucumbers which isn’t that unusual. But it’s the technique used in preparing them that was so unique; you actually end up sewing the cucumber with a needle and thread.
Forced cucumbers are really quite good and have a bright taste due to the fresh herbs and lemon juice. A nice early summer dish!
3 medium cucumbers (each about 8” long)
1 beaten egg
1 ¼ cups fresh bread crumbs
1/3 cup onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, dill, thyme, basil or sage (Choose any or all of these herbs.)
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 quart meat or vegetable stock
- Peel cucumbers and slice a piece about 1 ½” from one end of each.
- Scoop out the seeds from the center of the cucumber using a marrow scoop or long thin knife. (A present-day melon baller also works very nicely.) Discard seeds.
- Combine the rest of the ingredients, except the stock, to use for the stuffing.
- Stuff cucumbers, including the cap, and then sew the cap back onto the cucumber using a long needle and some thick thread. Don’t sew too close to the cut edge of the cucumber or it will keep splitting.