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I finally made a really good cucumber salad with yoghurt

2 months ago
last modified: 2 months ago

I make all kinds of cucumber salads, a couple with specific recipes, most just winging it. I love cucumber salads. Just now, I had a couple of pounds of really lovely Persian cucumbers--enough to totally fill my bowl (along with a couple of sliced scallions) without even room for the holding ends from slicing on the mandoline. They weren't particularly wet. They just drained a little in a colander without vinegar or salt. And I had this yen for the yoghurt. My record, using recipes or not, with yoghurt versions is...adequate. This one, came out just right!

I think part of the trick was White Mountain Bulgarian yoghurt, full fat, which I left sitting on the counter awhile to come to room temp. I used to use Greek (strained of water) yoghurt, cold from the fridge, and maybe low or non- fat. This time it was just that I had some (enough) open. It was pretty runny when I added it, which made it coat the cucumber slices better, and I think the full fat helped it stick. I don't like it when the fruit is lost in the yoghurt, almost cukes as flavoring for yoghurt, rather than yoghurt as dressing for the fruit, and I don't like it when it falls off and makes the cucumber nearly naked on the fork. This time it was perfect!

But the flavor. I kept thinking it needed more pepper and salt than I'm usually comfortable with, marjoram maybe, and lots and lots of garlic. But... Not raw garlic. And I wasn't about to start toasting garlic. But I had some dehydrated little garlic pieces, so I was looking in the 6' spice rack, and ran into a jar nearly full of large garlic granules, about the size of couscous. They smelled good and garlicky. My eye also hit a jar of "Greek" seasoning. I use it, as I do many blends, for non-specific whipping up of stuff. I wasn't really thinking of "Greek" flavor for my salad, more Israeli really, but I looked at the ingredients ( coarse salt, Turkish oregano, garlic, lemon, black pepper and marjoram. ) and thought that sounded good to add to the S&P already in there and the marjoram, too. I did layers of cucumber, scallion, lots of garlic granules, lots of "Greek", and yoghurt.

It was really because the bowl was full that I did layers rather than more stirring with everything falling out, but I think it was a good idea. I emptied the rest of the yoghurt in, which came up to maybe half an inch from the top of the cucumbers, but it's thin enough to strain out on serving, so none of that serving of yoghurt with a little cucumber that some people make. After I put a lid on it, I also inverted the bowl, to help mix it a little, then chilled overnight.

ETA—I forgot to mention the fresh dill!

OMG! Perfect! Exactly the peppery, salty, garlicky flavor I was looking for. Yoghurt clinging to every slice without . Intense cucumber flavor (Persian's are tasty!).

I'm hoping I'll be able to replicate it. It's SO good! (Okay, that's probably at least half due to the excellent cucumbers, but still...)

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