When I was preserving cucumbers a few weeks ago, some of the vegetables were not suitable for pickling, mainly because of their size. So I had to put them away in the fridge, and use them either in salads, or cooking.
Here’s an example of what I did with the last one left in stock. Cucumber patties are at their best right after taking them out of the pan, but they can also be eaten cold as a healthy nibble between meals.
I chose to top my patties with parenica (parenitza) cheese – one of the traditional Slovak cheeses documented in A Taste of Slovakia book. I’m planning to write a separate post about parenitza, as the cheese has a very special place in our diet – and culture.Cucumber Patties with Parenitza Cheese
- 1 large cucumber (about 350 g)
- ½ cup oatflakes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ground black pepper to taste
- 2 eggs
- a handful of green scallion tops, chopped
- 1 teaspoon red paprika
- oil for frying
- 50 g parenitza cheese (or cheese of your choice) to top
- 2 medium tomatoes to garnish, sliced
- Wash the cucumber and grate it roughly into a large bowl.
- Rinse the oatflakes under running water and add to the grated cucumber. Stir in the salt and black pepper. Let stand for 20 – 30 minutes, or until the oatflakes have absorbed all the cucumber juices. In the meantime, wash the scallion tops and chop them. Rinse and slice the tomatoes.
- Break the eggs into the cucumber-oatflake mixture, throw in the green scallion tops, and add the paprika. Mix until well combined and put aside.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan. Scoop a large tablespoon of the mixture into the hot oil, and pat it with the back of the spoon to form a small pancake (a patty). Depending on the size of your pan, you can do more patties in one go. Adjust the heat to medium-low and fry until the patties edges turn slightly brown.
- Be gentle when turning them on the other side. The patties are soft and tender, so you will need two wooden spatulas to do so. Place one spatula under a patty, the other one on its top, and turn carefully. Fry until the patties are cooked through and crispy. Take them out on a plate covered with a kitchen towel, which will absorb the excess oil. Cover and keep warm. Repeat with another batch until you have used all the mixture.
- Divide the patties between two serving plates and top with the cheese. Garnish with the sliced tomatoes and the remaining greens.