Monday, August 4, 2008

Cucumbers with Yogurt and Mint

This is a great salad to keep on hand in the summer for a quick lunch. It is very refreshing. Again, I don't really have a recipe for this.

Cucumbers with Yogurt and Mint

3 cucumbers peeled, halved and sliced
1/3 c. of plain yogurt
2 Tbsp of fresh, chopped mint (don't even try to use dried mint - it really won't be as good)

Salt the sliced cucumbers and place in a colander to drain. Leave them for at least half an hour - more is better. An hour is plenty. This pulls out the excess water. They'll get a little limp, but still have a nice crunch. Place in a bowl and stir in 1/3 c of plain yogurt. (Use more or less depending on your taste.) If you have a mortar and pestle give the mint leaves a little crush in that before adding them to the yogurt and cucumbers. If you don't have a mortar and pestle, just give the leaves a good scrunch with your hand. This will soften the leaves and help release the oils and flavor. Mix the crushed mint into the yogurt and cucmbers. Stir well and refrigerate.

Sometimes I find that I like to add a dash or two more salt to the mixture before I refrigerate. It should have a slightly salty taste. I know that sounds weird - salt, yogurt and mint, but it really is yummy and refreshing!

In many Eastern Mediterranean/Middle Eastern cultures there is a drink with yogurt, salt and mint (and water to thin out the yogurt). It is surprisingly delicious - tart yogurt, zippy mint and that slight saltiness. If anyone has a good recipe for that, I'd love to have it. Otherwise I guess I just need to experiment with it.

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