This has to be the perfect recipe for a hot summer’s day. Last week we had a “heat wave”- really only two days of high temperatures and then back to the mild summer we’ve been having. Maybe it’s just because I’ve lived in Louisiana the last several years, but to me 97 degrees of dry heat doesn’t seem that bad. Regardless, a blast of heat – be it mild or strong – always gives me a hankering to eat something that will lower my body temperature from melting to bearable. Lately on the internet I’ve been seeing tons of recipes for popsicles, but I think there should be a cool-down option for real meals, too. This is what led me to make some cacik (pronounced jah-jick), a traditional Turkish dish best enjoyed in the summer months. It’s a great replacement to a salad and is commonly served as a side to meat dishes, though I’ll eat it with anything. I choose to shred my cucumbers, but you can also chop them up which is what some people prefer. Adjust the garlic for your taste and based on how much the people you’re eating with like garlic(breath).
Time: 10 minutes Serves: 4-6
- 16 oz (half a container) whole milk yogurt
- 2-3 cloves garlic
- 1 cucumber
- 1 tbsp mint flakes
- ¼ tsp salt
- I really prefer yogurt made from whole milk because I think it tastes better (and is more similar to Turkish yogurt). If that’s an issue for you, use 1% or fat free. For more information on whole milk vs. skim milk click here
- If you don’t have dried mint use fresh instead or, if you must, omit it
- If you don’t love garlic or are planning on going on a hot date after dinner use only 1 or 2 cloves of garlic. If you love garlic feel free to add more.
Take your garlic and dice into the smallest pieces you can manage. If you have a garlic crusher that’s even better. I don’t have one so I just chopped it up. Add it to a medium-sized serving bowl.
Add your yogurt to the garlic and mix. Add your salt.
Wash and peel your cucumber. Grate directly into the bowl.
Add mint flakes. Mix everything well and taste. Add more salt or garlic as you see fit.
Chill in the fridge for at least 15 minutes before serving, then enjoy!