Saturday, January 20, 2007

Cacik (Turkish Cucumber Salad)

Adapted from Forever Summer by Nigella Lawson.

We haven't discussed Nigella yet. Nigella is "my girl." I love her recipes; I love her book How to Eat; I love her sense of decadence and fun about food; I love that she doesn't take herself too seriously. If she invited me to come to her house to hang out, I would be there in a split second.
This is a Turkish cucumber salad, which according to Nigella is pronounced "jajek." Make it close to the time you want to serve it otherwise the cucumbers can get watery, and the garlic can get too strong. If you make it a little ahead of time, add the garlic and olive oil just before serving.

Mince the garlic by hand, or use a Microplane grater, whichever you prefer. It's delicious made with Greek full fat yogurt, which is what I always use, but I imagine if the fat police are on your trail, Siggi's Skyr Plain Yogurt would be good too. It'sreally thick and has no fat.

This is expecially good served with grilled or roast lamb, pork, or chicken.

1 small container thick, plain yogurt
1 large cucumber or 3 pickling size
1 teaspoon dried mint
Salt to taste
Leaves from a few sprigs of fresh mint, chopped (plus a few extra for garnish, optional)
1 - 2 cloves garlic, depending on size and intensity
Extra-virgin olive oil to drizzle over

Put the yogurt in a bowl. Peel the cucumber(s), and cut it (them) in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds with a pointy spoon, and dice the cucumber flesh. Add it to the yogurt, and mix. Stir in the dried mint, salt to taste, and the chopped fresh mint. Add the garlic, and mix it in. Drizzle the top lightly with olive oil. Add some extra mint leaves for garnish if you like.

1 comment:

  1. Lawson a beautiful lady, a cool one. She paid her dues, as her husband died of throat cancer.
    Not as many people as one would think like yogurt and/or cucumbers.
    Lawson's take, with the mint & the garlic, sounds great. I'll remember to try this up at my lake house.


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