This recipe is nearly the same as this one, Cooking Cucumber: the French Way. So, if you don’t have cream in your fridge but you do have lots of cucumbers, you can make this!
Do not skip the salting step. Cucumbers are full of so much water that you will end up with icky cucumber mush if you try to bake them without salting them to draw out some of the water.
I made this version with basil. Which gives me an excuse to show off the gigantic basil leaves from my garden. Wow! The basil (and the cucumbers) are very happy this year.
Baked Herbed Cucumbers
6 medium cucumbers
2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
⅛ teaspoon sugar
1 ½ teaspoons salt
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil (or use dill or parsley)
3 Tablespoons chopped chives or green onions
⅛ teaspoon black pepper
salt and pepper
Peel the cucumbers and cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Slice the cucumbers the long way into about ½” slices. Then cut into 3″ pieces. Place in a large bowl. Sprinkle with vinegar, sugar, and salt. Mix and let sit for 30 minute to an hour. Drain, pour onto a towel, arrange in a single layer then pat dry with another towel. You want the cucumber pieces dry so they cook up crisp, not mushy.
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Melt the butter with the fresh herbs and ⅛ teaspoon black pepper in a small saucepan. Place the cucumbers in a large shallow baking dish – large enough so the cucumbers are mostly 1 layer deep. Pour over the melted butter and mix. Place the baking dish in the oven and bake for 50 minutes, stirring a few times during the baking. Remove from oven. Season with additional salt and pepper, if needed.