Turkish Yogurt Sauce

Ana Sortun shared a version of this recipe (called “Cacik”, pronounced “Sha-sheek”) with our CSA. I think it is also in her book, SPICE. I’ve modified it, since I like to make a lot of servings for multiple meals, and I like to use whatever is on hand. Ana says, “Feel free to add anything and everything green to this (chopped parsley, mint, dill, chopped cooked greens, etc…..)  There is no rule as long as it’s green!  It’s truly one of my favorite things to eat.  I love having it with pita and some lightly dressed mesclun greens or as a sauce for those delicious fresh-dug potatoes!” Spearmint has a cooling feeling, cucumber is cooling – these are great for a summer day.

Makes 2 cups to serve 4

  • 1 cup finely chopped cucumber (or 1 medium cucumber)
  • 1 cup finely chopped cooked greens (mustard, sorrel, dandelion, swiss chard, yellow dock, kale, collards…)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cups Greek-style yogurt or labne
  • 4 cloves (about 2 teaspoons) minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice (or 1 lemon)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons crushed, dried spearmint

1.     In a small mixing bowl stir the garlic and the lemon juice until combined.  Let stand for 10 minutes. This step sort of softens the garlic bite.

2.     Stir in the yogurt and season well with salt and pepper.

3.     Combine the cucumber, greens, herbs and olive oil and fold into the yogurt.

4.     Season with spearmint.

I’ve made this with Swiss chard that I cooked with sweet onion for a few minutes in olive oil and cooled, omitting the olive oil in step 3. It is sweet and the yogurt turns pink! It would be delicious added to a cooked egg dish as well.


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