The cucumber plant, Cucumis Sativus, belongs to the Cucurbitacee family and has a lot of good properties. Cucumbers are usually grown in countries with a temperate to hot climate but this vegetable probably comes from the Himalayas where it was originally cultivated. It comes in season in late spring and during summer.
Cucumbers should be plump and bright in color, firm to the touch with no signs of wrinkled skin and not soft at the ends.
In Italy it is usually consumed raw in salads or with an oil dip.
Another wonderful way of using cucumber is in “tzatziki”, a Greek salad where the cucumber is grated and mixed with yogurt and oil. Vinegar and garlic can be added.
A simple and refreshing salad consists in cutting the cucumbers, sprinkling with salt and letting them sweat for a few minutes. Rinse, pat dry and season with oil, lemon juice and dill, adding stoneless black olives cut in quarters at the end.
This vegetable is excellent against cholesterol, it contains tartaric acid which is a substance that allows the body to eliminate carbohydrates that are not immediately consumed and would be transformed in body fat. It is good against water retention.