Cucumber and Yogurt Soup

A light, refreshing cold soup for hot summer days.

3 tablespoons mint
3 tablespoons dill, plus chopped sprigs to finish
2 tablespoons tarragon
2 cucumbers, peeled and roughly chopped
1 cup yogurt
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup walnuts, plus 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts to finish
1 cup stale breadcrumbs
½ cup olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon to finish
6 scallions, roughly chopped
2-4 peeled garlic cloves, depending on your taste
juice of ½ lemon
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
sprinkle cayenne pepper
salt, to taste
sprinkle sumac, to finish, optional

Add mint, dill, and tarragon to food processor. Pulse. Add remaining ingredients. Chill. Portion into bowls. Top with dill, walnuts, olive oil, and sumac, if desired. Serve.

Tomato, Cucumber, and Red Pepper Salad

This lively bright salad is refreshing with a bite from the chilis and Turkish pepper paste. If you don’t have the paste you can use harissa instead.

You can see this made in our Mixed Meze Video.

4 tomatoes, skinned, seeded, and finely diced
2 red bell peppers, seeded and finely diced
1/2 English cucumber, finely diced
2 shallots, finely diced
3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
2 tablespoons finely chopped mint
2 teaspoons Turkish pepper paste
1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
2 teaspoons white vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Stir all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Let flavours meld 30 minutes before serving.

If you like this salad try our Carrot Salad with Harissa.

Tzatziki Sauce

If you can’t get 10% fat yogurt drain Greek yogurt, you can strain it by placing the yogurt in a sieve suspended over a bowl for a couple of hours.

Letting the chopped garlic sit in the olive oil for a bit softens its bitterness. Grating and straining the cucumber prevents the sauce from getting watery. Putting the dill in at the last minute keeps its flavour bright. If you have time, refrigerate the mixture before you add the dill to allow the tastes to meld.

4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons olive oil
sprinkle of salt
half a cucumber, grated
500 g Greek Yogurt (10% fat)
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
one small bunch of dill, finely chopped

Put garlic in small container with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Set aside.

In a fine mesh sieve over a bowl, place cucumber. Weigh down with a ziploc bag filled with water. Allow to drain at least 30 minutes. Dispose of drained liquid.

In a medium bowl, add yogurt, garlic, cucumber, and white wine vinegar. Taste for salt.

Just before serving, add dill.

Goes great with falafel or vegetables.

Cantaloupe Salad

A nice, refreshing salad I developed to pair with Pike Naughty Nellie, a golden ale, for a recent dinner. It would also pair well with an acidic wine. The combination of colors makes this a feast for the eyes, too.

Serves 4

1/2 cantaloupe, deseeded, rind removed, thinly sliced
1/2 cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced on the diagonal
4 Campari tomatoes, thinly sliced
A few mint leaves, thinly sliced
4 oz crumbled blue cheese
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

For the dressing:
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Pinch superfine sugar
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Whisk together dressing ingredients. Adjust to taste. Set to side.
On small plates layer cantaloupe, cucumber, and tomatoes. Sprinkle with mint and blue cheese. Drizzle with dressing. Top with additional salt and pepper.