Minty Cucumber-Yogurt Salad
This salad is so cool and refreshing. It’s really a lovely accompaniment to fish or grilled foods, or anytime you want to cool the mouth down when the main course carries some heat. I frequently will serve it with toasted pita bread, as I did this time. Simply brush the pita with olive oil, sprinkle on coarse salt, pepper, paprika and some cumin seed (or black or white sesame seeds) and toast in the oven or toaster oven at 350-375° or on the grill long enough to heat through. Cut into triangles and serve alongside the salad.
- 1 cup plain Greek-style or whole-milk yogurt
- 1 English cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
- 1 Tbl. olive oil
- 1 medium clove garlic, minced
- 3/4 t. ground cumin
- 1 Tbl. fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- 1/4 cup of chopped fresh mint
- Salt & Pepper to taste
Greek yogurt has a much thicker consistency because it’s gone through a straining process to remove most of the liquid whey. If you’re using a plain non-Greek-style yogurt – (don’t stir it first!) – you can thicken it by lining a colander with a couple paper towels and spooning the yogurt on top. Place the colander in the sink or over a bowl, and allow it to drain for 20 to 30 minutes. (This works as a great alternative to sour cream too.) If the particular brand of Greek-style yogurt you buy isn’t as thick as you’d like, strain it for 10 or 15 minutes and it should be. (Avoid yogurts using gelatin as a thickening agent, at least for this purpose.)
Combine the yogurt, olive oil, garlic, cumin, lemon juice, 1/4 tsp. salt and the mint in a serving bowl. Add cucumbers and stir to coat. Add salt and pepper to taste.
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