Cucumbers are perhaps most commonly associated with summer in the UK, whether sandwiched between buttered white bread as part of a tea table or floating enticingly in a jug of ice-cold Pimm's, but British cucumber season can actually begin as early as February and last way into the autumn. When buying opt for firm, dark green cucumbers and (though it might go against all your natural instincts) avoid storing them in the fridge as too cold a temperature can dehydrate them, causing them to rot.
As this collection of cucumber recipes demonstrates, cucumbers are a highly versatile ingredient which work equally well in hot and cold dishes. Alfred Prasad's cucumber raita recipe is the perfect side dish for an Indian feast, while Andrew MacKenzie's cucumber sauce is the ideal companion to his Lamb kofta recipe. Simon Hulstone pairs pickled cucumber with elegant mackerel pâté, while Danny Kingston serves his cucumber hot in a Vietnamese inspired Seafood stir-fry.