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Summer Fest: Cucumber and Mint Lemonade

A trip to my mom’s house in Westchester, N.Y., means stocking up on all of the great produce she grows in my childhood backyard. When I arrived this past weekend she was waiting to let me pick one of her prized Asian cucumbers. The variety is very long and sweet with a thin skin.

Inspired by the sweetness of this beauty, we decided to turn the cucumber into a refreshing summer lemonade. We picked up lemons at the store (no lemon trees in our backyard) and gathered mint from a neighbor’s garden.

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Summer Fest: Cucumbers Stuffed With Crab-Mango Salad

Week three of our season-long garden party Summer Fest 2011 welcomes food and garden bloggers to feature garden-to-table recipes and tips. We’ll help you to enjoy all that this season has to offer. So far, we’ve delved into eggplant and peaches. This week we’re getting creative with cucumbers.

Summer appetizers should be fresh, light and they should take advantage of the bounty of the season. Ideally, they’d be great-tasting, and wouldn’t take a lot of time to make (you’ll need that time to waste by the pool or in a hammock somewhere) and summer apps should not heat up the kitchen. This is not the time for spinach-artichoke dip, folks.

It is time for bite-sized chunks of cool cucumber, stuffed with mango and jalapeno-studded crab salad. It tastes like the crab walked out of the sea and into your garden.

I was inspired by Daisy Martinez’s Avocado Stuffed With Crab-Mango Salad, but since it’s not avocado week of Summer Fest, I wanted to use cucumbers instead. Plus, cucumbers are lighter, so you can pop a couple of these in your mouth without needing a nap afterward. The end result is a no-cook snack or appetizer that looks pretty fancy but is done in a half-hour, and you won’t have to heat up the kitchen at all.

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