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Key Ingredient: Cucumber

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Key Ingredient: Cucumber
Written by Keia Mastrianni | Photography by Forrest Clonts

Cool as a Cucumber

Chef Wesley Fulmer Revs the Fruit into High Gear

When the sun sits high in the sky, approaching its summertime throne, one of its quintessential subjects emerges to make its prolific appearance. Cucumbers are one of the most refreshing fruits of the season, vining plants that climb toward the sky with the promise of making a salad sing. Cucumbers produce refreshing flavors in raw form and play well with acidic ingredients like vinegar. Pickles come to mind, but Chef Wesley Fulmer of Motor Supply Co. Bistro in Columbia, South Carolina, has other ideas. “I love the neutrality of a cucumber,” he says. As a native Southerner who returned to the Midlands after time abroad, Fulmer uses the fruit’s cooling qualities as a backdrop for bold flavors and herbaceous unions. He juices the cucumber for a Pernod-kissed broth paired with coriander and fennel-dusted tuna amplified by a cucumber salad tossed with vinegar and mint. He plates his own interpretation of the genteel tea sandwich with a cooling tzatziki sauce and smoked salmon, and offsets savory chile-rubbed steak and butterbean succotash with a punchy relish. A bourbon-cucumber cooler is on the menu too, for a proper start to this summer celebration.

Chile-Rubbed Strip Steak with Butterbean and Boiled Peanut Succotash, Grilled Avocado, and Cucumber Relish

Coriander and Fennel-Dusted Tuna with Pernod Cucumber Broth, Vinegar, and Mint Cucumbers, Smoked Almonds

Summer Bourbon Cucumber Cooler