Lemon Cucumbers

Have you ever seen a lemon cucumber? They’re called “lemon” not because of the taste, but because they are about the size of a lemon and yellow-colored when ripe. I’ve been growing them for the last several years, planting them at the base of the tomatoes, so they can creep along the floor of the garden beds, in-between the peppers, basil, and marigolds. I have yet to see them in any regular market, but often you can find them at farmers markets in the summer. They have a lovely, mild taste, even when quite mature, and the skins are relatively thin, so many people serve them with peels on. I usually peel mine, because I pick them straight from the garden and they have tiny little prickles that rub off easily, but will poke you if you aren’t careful (like garden-picked zucchini).

Lemon cucumbers can be used for most recipes calling for cucumber. Here are a few of the cucumber recipes on Simply Recipes. Some bloggers have specified recipes that use lemon cucumbers, here is a sampling:

Lemon cucumbers with pesto – from White on Rice Couple

Lemon cucumber tofu salad – by Heidi of 101 Cookbooks

Lemon cucumber soup bowls – from Straight from the Farm

Albacore Tuna Salad with Lemon Cucumbers – from Seattle Bon Vivant

Lemon Cucumbers with Toasted Sesame Seeds – from All the Marmalade

If you have a particular recipe for lemon cucumbers not listed here, please let us know about it in the comments.

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Showing 4 of 31 Comments

  • Lynae

    This is so bizarre….Last week my fiance’s mother gave us a big bag of veggies from her garden. I couldn’t figure out what one of them was. I have a book about produce and I tried to find it in there, but couldn’t. I cut one open today and discovered it tasted kind of like cucumber, but still didn’t know what it was.

    And then I saw this in my RSS feed! Thanks so much for unwittingly identifying my mystery vegetable!

  • jonathan

    Lemon cucumbers indeed. Those are obviously pale-skinned lemons. You trickster you, and it’s not even April 1st.
    (Really? Lemon cucumbers? I’ll bet they make a great tzatziki…)

  • Paul

    I’ve been thinking they could be made into some intriguing pickles. Ginger and five spice powder for Asian and garlic with lemon zest for Middle Eastern might make for some really novel accompanyments. I’ll work on it (as soon as I can find them!)

  • addison

    We have some in the garden right now – it’s our first year growing them!

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