Spring has nearly sprung. We have had some really spring-filled days in the last week or so, with blue cloudless skies and a watery sun. The washing has been hung outside to dry, bringing the fresh smell back in with it. It’s a sign of the times to come, or at least we hope it is. This change in the weather inspired me to make something that tastes of the summer and nothing reminds us more of summer than our oven dried tomatoes that were from our bursting at the seams polytunnel last summer. This dip was taken down to my parents’ house as part of a shared meal and it was really very tasty and it will be made again and again, I am sure of it.
It used up the last of the Total yoghurt – well they did give me a batch with a decent shelf life.
1 garlic clove, crushed
2-3 tbsp oven dried (or sun-dried) tomatoes in oil
3 tbsp fresh basil leaves
200g Total Greek yoghurt
salt and pepper
Blend the garlic, tomatoes and basil leaves in a food processor or blender, leaving them a little chunky, and mix with the yoghurt. Add salt and pepper to taste.
This post is very much related to the one about onion bhajis. As regular readers will know Total Yoghurt have very kindly sent me a tray of samples with which to cook. So far I have made scones and buckwheat pancakes and this is recipe number three, giving the yoghurt centre stage.
This dip is a bit of a twist on a cucumber raita. It’s not the time of year for mint in my garden and last year I failed to make my usual jar of mint concentrate and I refuse to pay the price of a pot from the supermarket when I have it rampant in my garden for most of the year. So this is a winter version of a raita, replacing the fresh herb with a spice. It was very good and suited the onion bhajis perfectly.
200g Total Greek Yoghurt
8-10cm chunk of cucumber, diced
1½ tsp cumin seed
Heat a frying pan over a medium heat until hot and add the cumin seed. Cook for a few seconds until the smell is released. Pour straight into a mortar and grind with the pestle to a rough powder (you still want the bite of the seed in there).
Mix the cucumber, yoghurt and cumin together and enjoy as a dip for crudites or bhajis or samosas, as a side for a curry or however you fancy eating such a delight.
This is a recipe from our good friend Tony, who on a recent visit to our house made us a delicious bowl of this tsatziki. The recipe that follows is his and as he is of Greek Cypriot descent, I suppose it can be called authentic. It’s lovely and we had some tonight with our roast chicken and baked pumpkin, both of which will follow in new posts soon.
1 long cucumber
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or crushed
500ml strained greek yoghurt
½ tsp salt
1½ tsps mint or dill, finely chopped
Peel the cucumber and halve lengthways and scoop out the seeds. Coarsely grate the cucumber and place in a sieve over a bowl and squeeze to get as much of the water out as possible (drink this cucumber water or save to add to vodka later). Leave the grated cucumber in the sieve and sprinkle with salt so that more of the liquid drains out whilst you crush the garlic and chop the herbs. Squeeze the cucumber again and combine all of the ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Place in the fridge, the longer it sits in there the more garlicky the flavour will become.