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Cooling down with cucumbers

Few things are as refreshing as a chilled cucumber spear.

Because they are made up, essentially of water, cucumbers are probably the best thing to eat (along with melons) when the dog days of summer are upon us.

At our house, a salad of cucumber, red onion, yogurt and fresh mint is a weekly staple come August. But there are so many more ways to enjoy cucumber's cooling benefits from popsicles to cocktails to slaws, salads, and smoothies.

This recipe compilation from Bon Appetit covers this fruit's crazy range and versatility. (Yes, it is a fruit.)

Melons and peppers are both plentiful at the markets right now and both these recipes offer an interesting mix of texture (silk and crunch) and aromatics.

Don't forget to pick up some Arlotta Food Studio basil oil for dressing! Other things to look for at the market this week: Noble Pies is back. If you tried a blueberry pie last time they were here, why not try "Will you marry me cherry" this week? And please don't overlook their savory pie selections. Their shepherd's pie made with ground local lamb, and their summer squash with sweet sausage pie, had Rose, our market manager, swooning.

Cooperstown Cheese is here with their European-style hard cheeses, such as Marielle (with cumin and Nigella seeds) and their reliably popular Jersey Girl. They also sell goat feta (which would work perfectly well on the first salad above in lieu of ricotta salata).

Momo Dressing is here on Saturday and ready to gussy up your greens. If it seems they are adding more and more items to their repertoire, they are! Why not use one of their Asian marinades for some fresh chicken from Premier Pastures?

See you at the market!

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