BAKED CUCUMBERS IN BASIL CREAM

1 ½ Tbs. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. sugar
4-5 cucumbers, peeled, halved lengthwise, with 1-inch slices
2 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
1 scallion, finely chopped
1 cup heavy cream
3 Tbs. chopped fresh basil leaves
Salt & freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Mix the vinegar, salt, and sugar in bowl. Add the cucumber slices and toss to combine. Set aside to marinate for 30 minutes. Drain the cucumber slices in a colander, then pat them dry with a clean dish towel. Put cucumber slices in a shallow baking dish. Pour the melted butter over them and add the scallion; toss to combine. Bake the cucumbers, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the cream in a small pot until it comes to a light boil. Continue to cook the cream, stirring frequently, until it is reduced to ½ cup, about 20 minutes. Stir in the basil and turn off the heat; let mixture steep for 2 minutes. Pour the basil cream over the cooked cucumber slices. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serves 4 to 6.

(from Farmer John’s Cookbook: The Real Dirt on Vegetables)


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