Chances are, at this point in the summer, you’ve got plenty of cucumbers rolling around your vegetable crisper. In my home, that is a very good thing. My two boys cannot get enough of cucumber. I don’t think there is any preparation of this prolific veggie that they’d turn down. I use it pureed in cold summer soups (see Cool Cucumber and Purslane Soup), chopped in salads, tossed into stir-fries, and sliced up to dip into just about anything. I also happen to use it in a classic dip of its very own, Greek tzatziki. This creamy, cooling dip makes for a lovely appetizer or satisfying mid-afternoon snack. I even go so far as to use cucumber tzatziki to dress cucumbers themselves. For this easy salad, I toss sliced cucumbers in salt, let them drain in a colander for 20 minutes or so, then dress them with a few shakes of rice wine vinegar and a healthy dollop of tzatziki. I serve this salad next to just about any grilled meat or fish.
Makes 2 1/2 cups
1 1/2 cups grated cucumber (from about 2 Lebanese or 3 Kirby cucumbers)
1 1/2 cups 2% Greek yogurt
1 small garlic clove, finely grated*
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint
Sumac, optional, to garnish
Pita, to serve
- In a colander set in the sink, place the grated cucumber. Using your hands, squeeze out the cucumber until most of the water from the cucumber has been extracted.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the cucumber, yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, oil, salt, and mint. Stir until thoroughly combined. Serve sprinkled with sumac.
Nutritional analysis based on 1/4 cup serving:
Calories 39, Fat 2 g, Sodium 259 mg, Carbohydrate 4g, fiber 0g, Sugars 3g, Protein 2g
* When I use raw garlic in a dressing or dip, I turn to my Microplane to finely grate it. That way I can be sure to achieve garlic flavor without the sharpness associated with raw garlic.