“Is this a vegetable or a fruit?”
This was my first question after observing for a while this tubby form.
Its intense light green collour is shiny and its surface is spiny.
The taste is very neutral and aqueous! I'm not sure if it has some nutritious value, for sure the visual effect is certain. Imagine a kind of big horse-chestnut with very tense and thin peel. This is its outlook!
When I first saw it, I thought that it was another growing experiment donated to my parents by a farmer-friend and arrived from who knows where. In that garden - my parent's garden, you can find any kind of vegetable-wonders. Edible, or not, it doesn't matter. The important thing is that it grows, sometime it even surprises us with its bloom, but most of the time it produces some kind of food. Food means vegetables or fruits. Until the unknown "food" doesn't show its products, we never know if it should be called fruits or vegetables. Well, we know how to call it, of course, but it is the product that has never been experimented in my family and no matter if, botanicaly speaking, it has been classified as fruits, or as vegetables, the moment it get tasted is the crucial one for us to decide how to specify the new grown baby!
Happy to see the gaze of surprise in my eyes, my parents answered in most natural way, as it is so natural to grow this tubby form vegetable in our garden.
“It is Mexican cucumber! A kind of watery squash, we will cook it one of these days.”
“OK” I said, “First I will take some pictures of it, I need some pictures of a bizarre vegetables for my blog”
The cellar is a winter refuge for delicate plants, cactuses and succulents, for last products from the garden and any kind of seeds and gardening tools waiting for a new season to arrive. It’s a pleasant environment, our cats love to spend their lazy day hours crouched in carton boxes, away from humans and very close to their food.
The light in the cellar is fantastic, I love its shadows, every angle of that space produces different tones of light. The light in there is almost so deep as it is in old houses with thick walls made of enormous stones.
Stinging cactuses and succulents have been arranged on high shelfs and windows sills, away from curious cat’s noses and paws, but Mexican cucumbers are laying in the open crate on the ground conserved by the coldness of the floor and cats seam not to be interested at all to smell them. Instead, they were very interested to sneak around my tripod trying to jump on the board that I were using for my photo session. They were bothering me and nor food nor the rumors I made to throw them out were good enough to get rid of these creatures.
“Don’t use the one that has the sprout, use the smallest and most ruined fruits!”
“I already cut one, I wanted to see how it looks inside. Oh, it has only one seed!" What an interesting fruit, or vegetable, or...it doesn't matter at all, this tubby thing captured all my attention and I was quite amazed by it.
Fortunately, my father was cautious, the one with sprout was well stored away from humans and cats and the sprout was growing luxuriant in a shady place. All alone, even away from stinging cactuses and succulents that would be a good protection from all, human or cats!
"Mom, how do you cook it? I was thinking of preparing something easy and light. After all, we ate so much during Christmas days."
"I will remove spurs and peel it for you, you don't know how to do it..." my mom already put glows on her hands and stinging spurs disappeared one by one discovering crispy pulp.
It usually finishes in this way, I don't know how to do something, because I'm trying to sneak in her kitchen, in my mom's kingdom! Finally I convinced everybody to leave the kitchen, even our cats went our and I started to grill slices of Mexican cucumber. Few minutes on each side...
GRILLED MEXICAN CUCUMBER
Eliminate spurs and peel the fruit.
Cut in slices 1cm thick.
Grill on hot grill pan with little extra virgin olive oil.
Arrange on serving plate.
Sprinkle with some lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, little salt and aromatic herbs.
CETRIOLO MESSICANO GRIGLIATO
Eliminare le spine e pelare i frutti.
Tagliare in fette spesse 1 cm.
Grigliate nel tegame leggermente oliato.
Sistemare sul piatto da portata.
Condire con succo di limone, olio evo, poco sale e qualche erba aromatica.
MEKSIČKI KRASTAVAC PEČEN NA GRIL TAVI
Uklonite trnje i uklonite kožicu.
Rezati na kriške debljine 1 cm.
Peći na vrućoj gril tavi premazanoj s malo ekstra djevičanskog maslinovog ulja.
Posložiti na tanjir.
Začiniti s malo soka od limuna, ekstra djevičanskim maslinovim uljem, malo soli i aromatičnim biljem.