By Sangeeta Pradhan
INDIA New England Columnist
Cucumber boats with low-fat cottage cheese and fresh dill. Lacto-vegetarian, gluten-free.
The perfect, late- summer appetizer, this dish is versatile enough to be served as a side dish too, or as an accompaniment to barbecued chicken. The cucumbers add a refreshing crunch and the cottage cheese adds just the right amount of protein. Very low in carbohydrates, the cucumber boats are nevertheless, surprisingly filling.
Makes 4 servings.
2 medium-large cucumbers, about 6” long.
1 cup low-fat, cottage cheese
¼ cup frozen corn
¼ cup orange or red sweet bell peppers, finely chopped
8 small, ripe, pitted olives, chopped
2 scallions (green onions), finely chopped, divided: set aside 1 tbsp. for garnish
Juice of a ½ a fresh lime, about 2 tsp or to taste
Salt to taste *
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
Dash of hot sauce or to taste (optional)
3 tsp fresh chopped dill, divided; 2 tsp for filling + 1 tsp for garnish
- Wash cucumbers thoroughly. Wipe dry with a kitchen towel.
- Using a sharp knife, carefully cut each cucumber in half vertically.
- Using a melon scoop, scoop out the inside of the cucumbers leaving behind the thick shell. Set aside.
- Bring a ½ cup of water to boil in a non-stick sauce pan. Drop the corn into the pot and allow to boil for about 2 minutes. Turn off the heat, and let sit for another couple of minutes. Drain water and transfer cooked corn to a medium-sized mixing bowl.
- Add cottage cheese, red peppers, olives, scallions, lime juice, hot sauce (optional) 2 tsp of the dill and salt to the cooked corn in the bowl.
- Gently combine all ingredients.
- Divide above filling equally into 4 sections.
- Gently fill each cucumber shell with above mixture.
- Garnish with reserved dill and chopped scallions
- Serve immediately.
Chef’s tip: Cucumber shells may get soggy if not served within the hour of filling the shell. You may refrigerate filling, assemble shells at the last-minute, and serve immediately. It is advisable to add salt* just before assembly to prevent filling from getting watery.
* You may not need to add salt, as there is some salt in both the cottage cheese as well as olives.
Serving size: 1/2 of a cucumber ( cut vertically) with filling
Disclaimer: This column is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Please consult your doctor or registered dietitian for recommendations tailored for your unique needs.