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Here’s a recipe we posted way back in 2010. This time of year, you’ll find bins of “end of summer” cucumber at your farmers market. So many cucumbers. So little time to enjoy fresh ones now. You can slice them and put them on your eyes. It works. You can simply eat them, or put them into gin.

Or, you can fire them up.

My mouth is now on fire. I think only eating some sugar is going to offer hope. Yes, it’s true. If your mouth is burning from spices, a little taste of sugar will mellow it all out. Seriously. Just a teaspoon. Remember this piece of advice, because you are going to need it.

“Cool as a cucumber.” It’s a favorite saying, and until now universally true. When I think of cucumbers, I envisage cool cocktails, refreshing salads, and even an herbed granita. All cool. All smooth.

Not now. This recipe is hot, very hot. And so different that you might adopt it as a standard side dish. I just had a meal with lovely fish, rice, and this spicy cucumber as an accent. It is head turning to taste the crunch and juice of a cucumber instantly reinforced by chile heat. And those peanuts are pretty good on their own covered in the biting sauce formed with this recipe.

I doubt that “hot as a cucumber” will ever be a prominent saying. But you will always remember your first bite.

Chili-Lime Cucumbers

Servings: 4


  • 4 Kirby or Persian cucumbers
  • Lime juice
  • 5 dried arbol or Thai chiles
  • 4 dried guajillo chiles
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup peanuts, roasted


Slice the cucumber into spears and drizzle with lime juice; chill until ready to serve.

Grind the dried arbol chilies and guajillo chiles with 2 teaspoons of salt.

Toss the roasted peanuts with some of the spiced salt.

Sprinkle the cucumber with more spiced salt and serve with the peanuts.

Source: Food Network Magazine

Photo Information: Canon T2i, EFS 60mm Macro Lens, F/8 for 1/160th second at ISO‑100