Tossed with bacon, yogurt, and curry powder, this combination of cucumbers, beets, and cranberry beans is a real treat.
Place garlic, mint sprigs, onion, ginger, and peppercorns on an 8-inch square of cheesecloth. Gather into a bundle, and secure with kitchen twine. Set aside.
Prepare an ice bath; set aside. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat; add bacon. Cook until it is crisp, stirring frequently, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate; let drain. Pour off excess fat from pan, and discard.
In same saucepan, combine beans, cheesecloth bundle, and chicken stock; bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cook 5 minutes. Add beets; continue cooking until beans and beets are tender, about 15 minutes. Add 2 teaspoons salt, and remove and discard cheesecloth bundle. Transfer mixture, with the liquid, to a large bowl set over the ice bath to chill.
When ready to serve, drain bean mixture in a colander. Peel cucumbers, slice in half lengthwise, and remove seeds using a spoon or melon baller. Cut 2 cucumbers into 1/4-inch dice. Reserve remaining cucumber halves.
Transfer bean mixture to a large bowl; add yogurt, olive oil, diced cucumbers, remaining 2 tablespoons sliced mint, reserved bacon, curry powder, and remaining 2 teaspoons salt. Stir gently to combine. To serve, spoon bean-mixture into reserved cucumber halves.
The bean mixture can be made up to one day in advance; carve the cucumber boats and proceed with step four just before serving.