Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Cucumber-Yogurt Salad with Fresh Mint

When Jake was a young Fulbright Scholar living in Germany, he ate a version of this fresh, cooling summer salad frequently at the table of his host family.  They usually seasoned it with fresh dill, which is delicious, and we totally recommend it.  However, our dill at the Big Red Farm isn't yet big enough to harvest, so we're suggesting fresh mint, which brings a different but equally summery flavor.  Basil, cilantro, parsley, chives, or a combination of any of the above would be good too.  This salad hits the spot on a muggy summer day.

adapted from dinner at the Gademanns' in Magdeburg

serves 4

3 cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and diced
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon fresh mint, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano

2 cups plain yogurt, OR 1 cup very thick Greek yogurt if you don't want to strain
juice of 1/2 lemon
freshly ground black pepper

If you're using thinner yogurt, strain it through cheesecloth or a coffee filter for 6-8 hours or overnight.  You want to wind up with 1 cup thickened yogurt.

Toss the diced cucumbers with the salt in a colander, and let them stand over another bowl for 15 minutes.  Most of the salt will run off with the water, but taste the cukes and if they're too salty for you, rinse them with water before laying them out to dry briefly on paper towels.

Combine mint, garlic, and oregano in a medium bowl.  Add thickened yogurt and stir well.  Stir in cucumbers, then season with lemon juice (you'll probably use all of it, but you don't have to) and freshly ground pepper to taste.

Serve, eat, and feel your body temperature drop ten degrees.

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