Crazy For Cucumbers – Seven Recipes from Vaughan’s Vegetable Cook Book

Choose medium sized cucumbers, pare, cut off one or both ends, extract the seeds, boil from three to five minutes, drain and throw into cold water to firm, drain again and fill the insides with…

An Excerpt from Vaughan’s Vegetable Cook Book: How to Cook and Use Rarer Vegetables and Herbs, by the Proprietors of Vaughan’s Seed Store (1919)



Peel the cucumbers unless very young and tender, put into boiling salted water, and when boiled throw them into cold water to firm them. When ready for use, heat them in butter quickly without frying them, season with salt and pepper, pour over any good sauce and serve. Ripe cucumbers can be treated quite similarly unless the seeds are tough, if they are, mash the cucumbers through a sieve and serve with butter, pepper and salt.


Take twelve large, full-grown cucumbers and four onions. Peel the cucumbers and take the skin off the onions; grate them, and let the pulp drain through a sieve for several hours, then season highly with salt and pepper, and add good cider vinegar until the pickle tastes strongly of it, and it rises a little to the top. Put it in jars or wide-mouthed bottles, and cork or seal them so as to be airtight. The pickle tastes more like the fresh cucumber than anything else, and will pay for the making.


Boil a good-sized cucumber till nearly soft in milk and water flavored slightly with onion. Remove and drain dry, cut it up into slices when cold and brush each slice, which should be about a third of an inch thick, with egg, and dip in bread crumbs or make a batter and dip each slice in this, after which fry in butter till amber brown. To be served in the center of a hot dish with mashed potatoes round.


Pare and cut in slices three good-sized cucumbers; cover with water and let soak for half an hour, then drain and dry on a cloth. Put in a saucepan with two tablespoonfuls of butter and fry over a moderate fire without browning for five minutes. Add one scant tablespoonful of flour, and, when well mixed, one and one-half cupfuls of chicken or veal broth. Simmer gently for twenty minutes, season with a small teaspoonful of salt, a saltspoonful of pepper and half a teaspoonful of sugar; draw the pan to one side, add the beaten yolks of two eggs and one tablespoonful of finely chopped parsley. Take from the fire as soon as thickened, being careful not to allow the sauce to boil again.



Peel the cucumbers, slice as thin as possible, cover with salt, let stand one hour covered, then put in colander and let cold water run over them until all the salt is off. Make a bed of cress or lettuce leaves and pour over French dressing; or prepare as above, pour over vinegar, give a little dash of cayenne pepper and add sour cream. Cucumbers sliced very thin with a mayonnaise dressing make a very excellent sandwich filling.


Choose medium sized cucumbers, pare carefully and cut off the two ends, cut them in halves lengthwise, take out the seeds and put the cucumbers into ice water for two hours. When ready for use wipe the cucumbers dry, set them on a bed of lettuce leaves, asparagus leaves, cress, parsley or any other pretty garniture, and fill the shells with lobster, salmon or shrimp salad, asparagus, potato or vegetable salad, mix with mayonnaise before stuffing and put a little more on top afterwards.


Choose medium sized cucumbers, pare, cut off one or both ends, extract the seeds, boil from three to five minutes, drain and throw into cold water to firm, drain again and fill the insides with chicken or veal forcemeat; line a pan with thin slices of pork, on which set the cucumbers, season with salt and pepper and a pinch of marjoram and summer savory, baste with melted butter, or gravy, chicken gravy is the best, cover with a buttered paper and let bake. Or stuff with a sausage forcemeat, make a bed for the cucumbers of chopped vegetables and moisten with stock or water; or fill with a tomato stuffing as for stuffed tomatoes, baste often with butter, or a nice gravy, put over a buttered paper and bake until done, in about fifteen or twenty minutes. The Chicago Record gave the following recipe for cucumbers stuffed with rice:—Pare thinly five five-inch cucumbers. Cut off one end and remove the pulp, leaving a thick solid case, with one thick end. Season one cup of hot boiled rice, salted in cooking, with a tablespoonful of butter, a “pinch” each of marjoram and summer savory, saltspoonful of grated nutmeg, four shakes of cayenne and a tablespoonful of lemon juice. Fill the cucumbers with this mixture; replace the end, fastening it with small skewers; place in a pan of boiling water, salted, in which are two bay leaves and a clove of garlic, and boil for ten minutes or until tender. Drain and serve covered with a cream sauce.

These recipes are excerpted from Vaughan’s Vegetable Cook Book: How to Cook and Use Rarer Vegetables and Herbs, by the Proprietors of Vaughan’s Seed Store (1919). Learn more at

An early Twentieth Century publication of New York and Chicago’s Vaughan Seed Store, VAUGHAN’S VEGETABLE COOK BOOK: HOW TO COOK AND USE RARER VEGETABLES AND HERBS offers a wide range of delectable recipes drawn from the Chicago Herald-Record Newspaper, popular cook books of the era including “The Cook’s Own Book,” “The Household” and “Practical Housekeeping,” and a variety of traditional French and German sources. This Better Days Books quality reprint edition is taken from the Third Printing of this popular title (1919), and reproduces the original cover in all its plain but timeless charm – including the original price of just 35 cents!


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