TigerFIT

Cheesy Dill Cucumber Bake

Posted on: July 17, 2011

The husband proudly came home the other day with 3 gigantic zucchinis. I LOVE ZUCCHINI. I only had 1 in my fridge (very unusual) so the addition was very welcome.

Imagine my surprise when I start cutting up the zucchini to add to my pasta, only to find it was a CUCUMBER. I’d never seen a cucumber like that before.

As you can see in the picture below, it looks like a gigantic zucchini. I have a regular sized zucchini pictured next to it. 

I’m always at a loss at what to do with a cucumber. Yeah, throw it in a salad. Make little tea sandwiches. Throw it in water. Get all culinary and make a chilled soup. Bo-ring. I’m not 80 and I don’t play bridge, so those ideas were all out of the question. So I did a little research. Cucumbers are a fruit, and are considered a gourd. Aren’t zucchinis gourd like? Well, that was my thinking. 

So here is what I created with my cucumbers:

Cheesy Dill Cucumber Bake

  • 4 cups of sliced and seeded cucumbers (I used two of these large ones)
  • 2 C chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 C Fat Free Half & Half
  • 2 C shredded WHITE cheese of your choice (I used a low-fat sharp white cheddar)
  • 1/4 C flour (or more, depending on how much you need to thicken the sauce)
  • 1 T dill weed
  • 2 t garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • bread crumbs (optional- I used about 1/2 C panko crumbs)
  1. Prepare the cucumbers by peeling them, seeding them, and slicing them into 1/4” slices. Then place them in a bowl lined with paper towels or cheesecloth and sprinkle about 1-2 teaspoons of salt over them to seep the water out. Press down, and let them drain for about 10 minutes. Pat them dry.
  2. In a microwave safe bowl, place about 6 cups of water and add the cucumbers (I know this step doesn’t seem to make sense but I promise it will make a difference in the end.) Cook the cucumbers for about 5 minutes. Let them cool and pat dry again.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, add the broth and cook over medium-high heat until it boils.
  4. Add the half & half, stirring. Add garlic, dill, and salt and pepper.
  5. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour and some water until it is incorporated without any lumps (this will be the cheese sauce thickener.) Add to the sauce.
  6. When liquid has reached a rolling boil, add the cheese, making sure to stir stir stir so the cheese doesn’t stick.
  7. Once the sauce has thickened, remove from heat.
  8. In an 8×8 pan, place the first layer of cucumbers.
  9. Layer cucumbers and sauce.
  10. Top with the reserved cheese, and if desired the breadcrumbs.
  11. Bake at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes.  Remove from oven and let it set to coagulate. I let mine sit for about 20 minutes.

I didn’t know what to expect. I mean, cucumbers are known for their aroma and crunch. I closed my eyes, crossed my fingers, and took a bite. Was that a cucumber I was eating? I swear that tasted exactly like zucchini. It had the same texture. With the pairing of the dill and the sharp white cheddar, it was a match made in heaven. I’m relieved. I really thought I’d have to discard the whole experiment. 

Next time I make it, I’m skipping the breadcrumbs. I think it would be perfect to use as a bed for tilapia. The sauce and cucumbers would compliment the fish perfectly. I was too lazy tonight to dig through the freezer to find any, so I just ate it as is.

Servings – 4 (NOTE: Points values does not include the breadcrumbs)

Points per serving: 3 Points per serving (4 WW PointsPlus)

Adding a tilapia filet would make this a 6 point dinner. You can’t beat that!

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