Hi there! I lost myself in conferences, deadlines and laundry piles since we got back from Turkey…. And meanwhile…Hello Spring! When did you get here?
Apparently, I not only forgot to cook but also to look out the window to see the blooming trees, my rosemary’s new offshoots (that plant is still alive after three years by the way, which makes it the longest surviving plant under my supervision) and all the herbs lining up in the nurseries.
Now I have been catching up with the spring. I found a nursery with a great prices, and finally I got what I had been wanting for three years. A fig tree and lots of lavender plants. I have done some re-organizing and decluttering in the house. Tarchin and I have gone back to our long walks. Farmers’ Stand has opened so I filled up my fridge for a fraction of what I would pay at the grocery store. Just a start… at least I lifted up my head and paid attention to what is going around me. Finally!
The spring is always a big cleaning period for many of us. It is also a turning page in the cooking habits. From hot stews, casseroles, dense soups to a much lighter fare.. to the one that cooks dishes with nothing but olive oil and fresh herbs. I will be sharing lots of cold, side dishes that are known as “olive oil dishes (zeytinyagli) in the coming weeks, because let’s face it, I need to lighten things up in the kitchen if I want to fit in my summer clothes!
Cacık is one of the two well-known yogurt recipes of Turkish cuisine (the other one is ayran, which is a frothy, salty yogurt drink). By diluting yogurt with water, adding fresh herbs and salt, and serving it chilled, makes it a great addition to the table on hot summer days, restoring the body’s needs. At home, we normally serve to complement plain rice or bulgur pilaf. But this weekend, we skipped the rice and just roasted lots of vegetables, served with a big bowl of green salad (We made this cauliflower dish, braised green beans,roasted red peppers, and beets).
Hope you are enjoying the blooms as well. Now if I can only stop sneezing and clean the pollens off of my car, then the spring enjoyment would be complete.
One last thing – before I forget and usual Monday blues takes over: starting tomorrow, The Shiksa in the Kitchen will be hosting a Passover Potluck, a new recipe each day until Passover. I am contributing with a recipe so check each day to see which one of my recipes is Passover friendly and I am sure you will find many more great recipes.
Chilled Yogurt- Cucumber Soup (Cacık)
2 small servings
- 2/3 cup thick Greek yogurt (I use Fage brand)
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons cold or chilled water (the amount of water depends how thick or thin you want it, and also the yogurt. If you use regular store brand plain yogurt, you might need less water so start with 1/3 cup and work your way up.)
- 1/4 teaspoons table salt
- 1 small clove of garlic (meshed)
- 2 tablespoons minced peeled cucumber
- 2 tablespoons of finely chopped fresh dill(if you do not like dill, you can substitute fresh mint)
- 1/4 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil for garnishing
1. In a medium size bowl, combine yogurt, garlic and salt, whisk until yogurt is smooth.
2. Start adding the water gradually, until it comes to the desired consistency.
3. Add dill and cucumber, stir. Ladle into two small bowls and garnish with olive oil drops. Serve cold with rice, grilled meat or roasted vegetables.