Sunday, June 8, 2008

Cucumber & Yogurt Salad

A few weeks ago, I asked a coworker of mine for an easy Middle-Eastern recipe to take to a book club meeting. We had read The Kite Runner and were going to meet to discuss the book then watch the movie; everyone was asked to bring a Middle-Eastern dish to share. Since one of my coworkers is of Middle-Eastern descent, I figured she would know any number of easy dishes. Originally she gave me a recipe for hummus, but decided that if I'd never made hummus before that I'd be more frustrated and confused--there's definitely no "easy" in that! Instead, she gave me a recipe for a Cucumber & Yogurt Salad that she promised was easy to make and was "very refreshing."

It was really, really easy to make. The longest part of my prep was chopping up the cucumbers. I liked this, but it had a bit of that dry aftertaste that often accompanies Middle Eastern fare. I'm thinking that I might make some changes the next time I make this, but I'm not sure yet.

Graham didn't like it much, but then again he doesn't much care for yogurt. He said it liked it, but there was too much yogurt for his tastes.

Cucumber & Yogurt Salad

3 large, seedless cucumbers
1 32 oz. container of plain yogurt
2 to 3 cloves crushed garlic
1 T. olive oil
Salt to taste
Fresh sprigs of mint, to taste

Chop three cucumbers into very small pieces. Place in a large bowl. Add yogurt and garlic. Mix loosely.

Add olive oil and salt to taste.Mix. Chop mint and add to mixture. Mix all ingredients well.

Notes:
  • I love most of the people I work with--my coworker gave me fresh mint from her garden for this salad! I had to toss about half of it because she gave me too much, but she warned me ahead of time that she cut too much.
  • I've been munching on this in small bowls at a time or spreading on toast, but she suggests spreading it on pita bread.
  • She also suggests that if you would like a thicker mixture to add a few spoonfuls of sour cream and mix well. I didn't think it was necessary as this is already pretty thick, but it's nice to have that option if we wanted it.
  • I feel that it tastes better when chilled. It does feel rather refreshing on warm days. It's filling as well--the yogurt creates a nice base for the salad.
  • I like this a lot, but I'm not a huge fan of plain yogurt--too much tang for me. I'm thinking that next time I'll try it with vanilla flavored yogurt.

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