By Cassie Johnston
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There is a bit of a running joke in the gardening community about zucchini. They are incredibly prolific, and no matter how much you eat and give away, there always seem to be more and more and MORE. Unless you are me. Then you can’t grow a zucchini to save your dang life.
Seriously. Zucchini are so easy-to-grow, so bountiful, that there is even a holiday to give them away to your neighbors. But I can count on one hand the number of zucchinis I’ve successfully grown over the years. What can I say, it’s a curse!
Now cucumber? Friends, I can grow you some cucumbers.
I’ve never grown a cucumber plant that produced less than 457 cucumbers. And over the years, I’ve gotten quite skilled at using up all that crisp, cool, cucumber-y deliciousness.
Some of my favorite ways to use up a windfall of cukes: pickles (duh), cucumber and onion salad, cucumber limeade, cucumber and tomato salad, cucumber mojitos, cucumber face masks, cucumber water, cucumber and strawberry margs, tzatziki sauce, and this recipe right here—crisp, cool, and spicy Cucumber Salsa.
In this salsa, tomatoes play second-fiddle to the cool and crisp cucumbers. I chose red and yellow tomatoes for a bit of a fun burst of color, and I think they are so pretty against the simple background of the pale green cucumber chunks.
Tomatoes are a strong and acidic flavor and that makes standard salsa bold and a bit in-your-face. This salsa is mild and light, but still full-of-flavor. It is great paired with lighter fare, because the salsa won’t overpower other flavors. We had it on fish tacos! It was flavorful enough to make the taco delicious, but mild enough to let the whitefish flavor shine through. It’s equally as good piled high on a tortilla chip!
The key to any good salsa is an even chop. I’m a huge fan of the “roughly chop” school of culinary skills most of the time, but in the case of salsa, you want to get every piece of flavor in each bite. That requires an even chop. Take a little bit of time to cut your veggies well and you’ll be rewarded with a pretty salsa
with a well-balanced flavor.
5 from 1 reviews
Use your bounty of cucumbers in this crisp, cool, and spicy Cucumber Salsa. It pairs perfectly with lighter fare!
Jalapeños can be tricky. Some can be mild as bell peppers and other are spicier than all get out—and there is no way to tell until you taste it. If you’re heat-adverse, put on gloves, and then go ahead and make sure to remove seeds and membranes from the jalapeño (these parts are really spicy), and mince finely. Add the jalapeño a little bit at a time until you reach the desired spice level.
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This looks way yummy, and before I saw that you had it on fish tacos, I thought “wow, that would be delicious on a fish taco!” haha.
I love spicy salsa. I also like chunky salsa. Doug likes mild flavors and thin, liquidy salsa. I usually do kind of in between for us. But I need to try this and make some fish tacos!
I bet you had the best fish tacos where you grew up didn’t you? Mmmmm! And boo to the liquidy salsa!
Oh wow! I need this salsa pronto!! I like my salsa on the spicy side and since my kids won’t touch salsa with a 10 foot pole, it’s all mine..and i suppose I could share with the husband ;)
Definitely add some more jalapeno to this then if you like it hot! Babyface and I are wimps. :P
this looks delicious and refreshing. I love the combo of cucumbers and tomatoes. Hey you should try making some sort of frozen cucumber sorbet. Didn’t you get an ice cream maker recently? I bet that would be yummy :)
Hi, this salsa sounds absolutely great.
Just wanted to let you know that I’ve been lurking here for a month or so. I really enjoy reading your blog. I’m from Holland and this blog gives me an opportunity to find out how real americans live. Instead of what you see on the reality shows.
Thanks so much for ready! And the mast majority of us are definitely not like the reality shows, I promise. :D
Ha! Finally a recipe I’ve tried before you post it *grin* Love this salsa.
:D It’s so good!
I used to eat my salsa spicy, but now I’m joining you and Babyface in the wimp zone…just a tiny bit of spiciness for me now. This must be a good year for cucumbers in our neck of the woods…I just made cucumber and onions the other day, now I just may have to make this salsa to use up some of the other cucumbers I picked…are your pepper plants producing well? Mine are loaded, just wish my tomatoes would get ripe…oh well, off to the farmers market Saturday morning…
Our peppers are producing very well, but the with the last few days of hot sun, a few of our red peppers got burnt before ever turning red. :(
This looks so fresh and colorful! Love any twist on salsa, so many things to pair it with.
I’m writing because I’ve been fan forever and I think feedback is good, I hope?
I’ve really noticed since you scaled back to once a week posts, and with many of them as updated posts, there is a special something lacking in the blog – you!
It seems you used to be more interactive in your comments, and infused your personality and life into your posts.
There is nothing wrong with the content of what you post now, but as I’m sure you know, there is A LOT of similar content out there and it’s the author who sets it apart.
I’m sure as your life has changed it’s changed the blog for you too, I don’t doubt that, and perhaps your readership has grown and I’m totally off base. I just feel like my interest has waned a bit, and I might not be the only one.
All the best to you!!
Hi Georgia! Thanks so much for your feedback (and yes, it’s good—always give me feedback!). And you’re very right, as my life has changed, and as I have evolved as a person and a parent, so has my website.
Wholefully used to be a place for me to chronicle my life and tell my personal stories, and to be honest, that just isn’t how I see or use this space primarily anymore. I’ve become incredibly protective of my life (for privacy sake and also for I-love-this-job-too-much-to-burn-myself-out sake), and I know that makes the content a little less juicy.
I know that isn’t what many folks want to hear (I’m sorry!), but I have to be authentic to what I’m comfortable with, and at this moment, it’s less of a focus on me, and more of a focus on the delicious, healthy food that I’m so passionate about.
I feel so proud of the content I produce for Wholefully, and it’s shame to hear that you feel like my content is lost in a sea of similar content. I try to strive to make sure the work I do is the cream of the crop, but if you don’t agree, then I need to get back to work! :)
I totally understand if you aren’t interested in following along anymore—like I said, folks evolve! Thank you so much for your feedback—I’ll definitely keep it in mind as I move forward—and thank you so much for being a long-time reader!
Just stopped by to say I really miss your non-recipe posts! What’s going on w/ your garden this year? How about your chickens? those are the posts I love the best.
I’m sorry you’re missing that content! Wholefully is mostly healthy-food focused now-a-days—for a wide-variety of reasons—but feel free to check out my personal IG account for some more behind-the-scenes style updates: https://www.instagram.com/wholefullycass I also share lots of personal stories in my weekly newsletter!
Also, if you want to read why I made this shift, I talked it through in my Annual Report back in December (scroll down to the “Major Philosophy Shift” header): https://wholefully.com/wholefully-2016-annual-report/
(P.S. No garden this year—we’re taking a break for the season, but pumped to get back at it next year. And chickens are great—we just got three new baby chicks!)
I seriously look forward to Tuesdays to hit refresh to see your new post. However, it seems like more times than not, it’s essentially an old post reposted. I can get on board with a less frequent posting schedule but combined with old content, it’s frustrating. I’m a big fan of yours, and I know that you have to do you, but I hope you take this comment constructively. I agree with the other comments-your personality is almost missing now. I completely understand and applaud your desire for privacy for your family, but I feel like there is this wall up and you’re on the other side too. I don’t want you to lose readers and I’m afraid with all of the recent changes, you just might.
I really didn’t mean for this to sound so harsh. I know it’s impossible to please everyone.
Hi Vicky! You didn’t sound harsh at all. Thank you so much for your feedback—I really value it!
I assumed that reducing my number of posts and working on older content would put some folks off—but, as I mentioned below, right now, it’s really important to me to make sure every piece of content on Wholefully is in impeccable shape. There are thousands of posts that millions of people visit each month—and, if I’m being honest, I’m not proud of a whole bunch of them. So I’m working on that.
You might see these as just old posts reposted, but the only thing that’s the same about them is the name/recipe concept. They are completely rewritten, redone, retested—and I’m so proud to see some of my great ideas from olden days getting refreshed and brought out into the light. My ideas back in 2010? Awesome (sometimes). My execution? Not so hot.
I’m sorry you feel like my personality is missing from Wholefully—it’s been a real struggle for me to strike the balance between what makes me feel comfortable and what my (amazing!) readers crave. I hear you, and I’ll keep that in mind going forward. Again, thank you for your feedback, and thank you for being such a long-time reader!
I really echo the previous comments. I hope the blog is doing what it needs to for you! I don’t feel the same about the blog though. I guess the recipes are new to lots of other people and maybe that’s the focus right now, reader acquisition, but it feels like it’s at the cost of current readers. I notice you don’t snap or IG story anymore and it feels like this is becoming a more corporate blog than what it was. Totally your choice, but not my cup o’java.
Thanks so much for your feedback! The charge to update older posts has little to do with reader acquisition and more to do with making sure every piece of content on Wholefully is extremely useful and high-quality.
There are years and years worth of recipes on here —some of which aren’t up to my current high standards—that my team and I are working hard to make amazing. It’s really important to me that every piece of content with the Wholefully logo on it is a great as it can be.
I understand this can be a little repetitive for folks who’ve been around and seen these recipes before (THANK YOU for being such a long-time reader), but these posts are basically brand new—they are completely rewritten, rephotographed, re-videoed (new word!) and the recipes are retested and rewritten.
I’m sorry you feel like the personality has been stripped from Wholefully, but, I guess that’s an unfortunate consequence of my desire to protect my privacy more than I did in the “olden” days.
I wish there was a way for me to share more of my day-to-day life and feel comfortable with it—but, honestly, I just haven’t figured that out. I love connecting with you all, but it’s vitally important to me that I keep a large part of my life sacred (and off the blog)—so I connect with you awesome people in the best way I feel comfortable—through the love language of food. I know that isn’t the answer you want to hear, and I totally understand if you need to unsubscribe.
As I mentioned above, my personal IG account (@wholefullycass) and my email newsletter are a great place to get some more behind-the-scenes looks if that’s what you’re craving. Again, thanks so much for following along!
I have been an avid reader and fan of your blog for years, so first I just want to say thank you so much for all of your hard work and dedication. I wanted to chime in since some of the other comments are really resonating with me. I understand you are trying to strike a balance but your recent posts have felt colder and more corporate, like its someone on your team doing the work rather than you. I am definitely missing you and your personality in the posts. It feels like we are getting less and less of you and more recipes with very shiny and glamorous pictures and videos but very little of you, your charm and your life behind it. I have been sticking around hoping things would level out some but it sounds like that won’t be happening.
Thanks so much for your feedback, Lori (and for being a reader for so long <3). I definitely hear you! And I'm not gonna lie, striking the balance between what I'm comfortable with sharing and what you folks want to read is a constant battle for me—what I'm getting from you guys is that maybe I overcorrected a bit. I'll definitely keep it in mind going forward. :)
Thank you for the Insta story yesterday. It definitely helps to hear the changes explained in greater detail. When you said that you were going to be focusing on food, I didn’t initially realize that it meant no more homesteading, chicken, gardens, etc. Now that I know that’s the case, it’s definitely easier to accept the changes and appreciate what you want this space to become. Thank you for taking the time to respond!
You’re welcome, Vicky! I really wanted to “talk” to everyone, and I felt like that was the best way to do it. It can be so hard to get across how you feel online sometimes. :) Thank you so much for being so understanding and taking the time to chime in—it really means a ton to me.
I love this! For years I hated tomatoes ( I know I was crazy, right) and made my salsa with cucumbers instead! This reminds me of those days!
We made this to be served alongside pulled pork sandwiches on a hot summer day and it was perfect. A nice cool, refreshing side! It’s even better the next day :)
So glad you enjoyed it!
I am brand spanking new to cookings, but I love raw foods! I love the colors, the crunch, and the refreshing, hydrating finish…however…why do you “seed” the cucumber and tomato? And how do you even do that?
You seed the cucumbers just because the seeds kinda get in the way and don’t have a great texture. You seed the tomatoes, because the seed goo and juice is pretty watery, and no one likes a watery salsa—ha!
To seed cucumbers, slice them in half longways, and then take a spoon and just scoop/scrape out as much of the seeds as you can—no need to be intense about it.
To seed a tomato, cut it into quarters, then use a knife or spoon to scoop out the seeds, juice, and goo. :)
I am cooking lover, I love to make new recipes. Cooking is my passion and I always make your healthy recipes in my home in daily routin because i love it and my husband always eats and gave the best compiment to me. Thanks for sharing latest and yummy recipes.
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