While not in the cucumber family, borage, a Mediterranean herb, has a strikingly familiar cucumber taste. With its fuzzy buds and vividly blue star-shaped flowers, borage can be grown in your garden or found at the farmers market all Summer long. The buds, flowers, and stems can be tossed raw in a salad or chopped up and used as a garnish to cold soups like gazpacho. Muddle the buds and stems with sugar to give a refreshing cocktail a hint of cucumber. The flowers can even be candied as you would with rose petals or pansies for a striking cake decoration.
In medieval times, the leaves and flowers were tossed in wine for medicinal purposes. At the time, drinking borage-spiked wine was thought to cure melancholy and sadness. Today, borage tea is commonly used in alternative medicine as a detoxifying tea. Keep reading for a borage recipe.