Friday, August 20, 2010

Hot time, summer and Tzadziki

It's been a particularly miserable summer in DC, and the kitchen has sadly, been very lightly used. There are, however, a few summer favorites I keep coming back to that require little if no time around anything hot. Tzadziki, a middle eastern salad (or spread) of yogurt and cucumber is one of my favorite no-heat summer dishes. Whip some up, spread it on your favorite pita and add your favorite protein (grilled chicken is the favorite here) and lettuce and you're good to go for one great summer meal.This is also a great way to use some summer garden bounty (container or otherwise) - like my wee cucumbers here. There is nothing wee about the amount of mint I have in the garden, so I like to use a heavy hand with it.

adapted from Deborah Madison's
Vegetarian Cooking

2 cups Greek yogurt (do 0% if you must, but it will taste so much better with 2% or whole)

2 c cucumber chopped (about 1 large or 2 small or 4 teeny tiny)

salt and white pepper to taste

2 cloves of garlic
1 tsp dried dill (if you have fresh, use 2 tsp, chopped)
1 tbs chopped mint leaves
2 tbs white wine vinegar

1 tbs olive oil

Seed and chop the cucumber. Place in a colander gently toss with a few pinches of salt. Let sit for 30 minutes (trust me, wait the 30 minutes. This will dry your cukes out so you don't get the dreaded slimy cucumbers or an overly-watery sauce). After the 30 min. have passed, wring the cukes out with a clean tea cloth or napkin. Place in bowl.

Crush garlic with a pinch of salt in a mortar and pestle and add to bowl. Add dill, mint, vinegar and additional salt or white pepper to taste. Mix together and drizzle olive oil on top right before serving.

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