Cool as a cucumber, that’s me. Hah! Not really. I’ve been a bit out-of-sorts lately. The heat’s been disrupting my sleep. There has been little relief from the sultry days of summer here in New England. Still, with kids home from college and school, with friends visiting from nearby―2 of the most adorable toddlers were with us this past Sunday―anticipation of upcoming visits from friends as far away as Paris and Wisconsin, trips to the lake, the pool and the farm, the Adirondack Mountains, it’s hard to stay irritable for very long. I love summer.
Due to the heat and the busy-ness of summer, I’ve been drawn to recipes that are quick, versatile and cooling. This Cucumber and Yogurt Relishis just the thing. Crisp, fresh cucumbers mixed with creamy Greek yogurt and fresh herbs, form a refreshing sauce that is equally delicious right from the bowl as it is when it accompanies grilled fish and meats or served alongside a dish of rice and vegetables. Many cultures have a variation of this simple but remarkable relish―Indian cuisines call it Raita, Greeks Tzatziki, Israelis simply Cucumber Yogurt Salad. No matter what you call it―try this dish. Make it your own by incorporating your favorite fresh herbs and spices. Serve it the way you enjoy the most, then tell me what you have done. I can’t wait to hear from you.
I look forward to seeing you in my kitchen, gathering flavors, soon.
CUCUMBER & YOGURT RELISH
Yield: About 1 cup
- 2 fresh cucumbers, any variety (fresh is the key to this recipe. ditto all ingredients)
- 2 green onions, rinsed trimmed and chopped finely
- ½ cup finely minced fresh herbs, your choice, such as mint, dill, oregano, basil or a combination
- 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, peeled and finely minced
- ½ cup thick yogurt, preferably Greek low-fat
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice
- Pinch red pepper flakes
- ¼ teaspoon lemon or lime zest, minced
- Sea salt
- Slice each cucumber in half lengthwise, then each half in half again. Using a paring knife, scrape off the seeds from each quarter. Slice each quarter in thick strips.
- Place the cucumber slices, green onions, herbs, garlic cloves, and fresh ginger in a large bowl. Toss gently to combine. Add the yogurt. Toss. Add the lemon or lime juice. Toss again.
- Top with red pepper flakes, lemon or lime zest and sea salt.
- Serve and enjoy.
- The possibility for the combination of herbs in this dish are as endless as your imagination. Use whatever fresh herbs are available or suit your taste.
- Freshness is key here. Use only fresh herbs and cucumbers. Once you add the yogurt, serve the relish as soon as possible.
Suggested uses are endless, as well:
- Enjoy as a salad on its own.
- Use as a relish for grilled or roasted meats or vegetables.
- Use as a dipping sauce for pita, naan or chips.
- Serve alongside rice pilaf or a favorite wrap.
- Top poached eggs or an omelette with this sauce.
- Serve alongside pretty much any fresh veggie you enjoy.
- Serve it with of these recipes from Gathering Flavors: Rice Pilaf with Braised Greens, Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Beets and Poached Egg, or Fragrant Onion Rolls .
One Year Ago: Fragrant Onion Rolls