I love eating cucumbers. But it wasn’t until I was cooking with a friend that I learned about braising cucumbers. I’ve braised plenty of vegetables, but I had honestly never thought of braising cucumbers. However once I tried this recipe, I was a convert! Braised cucumbers are delicious! Or maybe it’s the wonderfully creamy dill sauce? Let’s just say it’s both! 🙂
This origins of this dish are Hanover, Germany. Called Hannoversche Gurkengemüse in German—my translation for this recipe is a simple yet decadent way to cook up cucumbers. Once the veggies have been prepared, it comes together with relatively little attention. So if you’re entertaining cut up the vegetables ahead of time, and it’s a breeze to make for your guests. And with all the fresh cucumbers and tomatoes still coming out of gardens (sometimes more than we know what to do with), I thought I’d be a perfect time to share this recipe!
Finally, although this dish is absolutely amazing fresh off the stove, be sure to make enough for leftovers. Whether served re-heated or chilled right from the refrigerator, I think it’s even better the second day.
- ¼ cup butter
- 1 tablespoon honey or sugar
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 large cucumbers, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 tomatoes, chopped and cut into bite-sized chunks
- ¼ cup water
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon fresh dill weed
- ½ cup sour cream or greek yogurt
- additional fresh dill weed for garnish
- Melt butter in large saucepan. Add honey/sugar, garlic, salt, onions, and cucumbers. Cook 2-3 minutes over medium heat stirring often until the onions become translucent. Don't brown the onions or cucumbers.
- Add tomatoes, water, lemon juice, and dill. Cook for about 12 minutes.
- When cucumber and tomato pieces are tender remove the pan from the stove and stir in the sour cream or greek yogurt.
- If desired garnish with some additional dill and serve.
Although not necessary seeding the tomatoes and cucumbers makes the dish even better! See tips in the "Kitchen Tips and Resources" section of this post on how to seed cucumbers and tomatoes.
I've made the dish with both sour cream and greek yogurt. While both taste great, the sour cream yields a much smoother, creamier sauce.
If you're using dried dill weed, use ⅛ teaspoon instead. Garnish to taste.
Kitchen Tips and Resources:
- If you want to give this dish an even better presentation and taste consider seeding the cucumbers and tomatoes:
- Cucumbers are easily seeded by taking the peeled cucumber, cutting it in half lengthwise, the dragging a small metal spoon across the pulpy, seedy center of the cucumber. Then proceed to cut the cucumber into 1/2-inch crescent moon chunks.
- To seed your tomatoes cut them in half horizontally, squeeze out the seeds, then cut into bite-sized chunks.
- A great, non-slip cutting board is an invaluable kitchen asset when cutting up the cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions. I upgraded to these Epicurean non-slip boards last summer, and I’ve been really pleased with them.
- A high quality set of cutting knives can make a huge difference, especially when you’re cooking REAL food. My local knife shop advised me to invest in the higher quality Zwilling J.A. Henckels Twin Signature brand (much higher quality than the J.A. Henckels International brand) and time has proven them right. (To make sure you know which Henckels knives are better, here’s a tip — look for the “twins” on the knives vs. the single guy sporting the trident.) While you can buy these knives online, if you’ve got a local knife/cutlery store, support them instead. I love my local cutlery store and bring my knives in every six months or so to get them maintained with a nice, sharp edge!