For the past few weeks Laurel and I have been snacking on these sweet and spicy cucumber spears. We like to eat them in the hours after we’ve finished working out for the day, but when dinner is still a few hours off. This snack is light enough that it won’t “spoil your dinner” (which has yet to ever happen to me!) and will keep you from going hungry all afternoon. Think of it as an appetizer served a few hours before the meal.
The best cucumbers to use are the Persian ones that are about 5 inches long and come in a package of 6 or 8. You can find them at Trader Joe’s or at most grocery stores. I also recently found baby cucumbers at the farmers’ market and they worked well, too. The key is that you want slightly sweet, seedless cucumbers with a crispy (and not waxy) skin.
This snack is easy to prepare. Just slice the cukes into spears and sprinkle them with pinches of sugar, salt, and sesame seeds and a half a pinch of red pepper flakes. I use ground piquin peppers, which are smokier and have a slightly different flavor than traditional red pepper flakes, a tip from April Bloomfield’s cookbook.
Sweet & Salty Cucumber Spears
Persian Cucumbers, sliced into spears
Pinch of sugar
Pinch of salt
Pinch of ground piquin peppers (or red pepper flakes)
Pinch of sesame seeds
Sprinkle cucumbers with each of the above ingredients. Serve as a pre-dinner snack on their own or with cheese and crakers.