feasting at home: Turkish Cucumber Salad

May 22, 2014

Turkish Cucumber Salad

It is what you are that heals, not what you know.
Carl Jung

Cool, crunchy and refreshing - Turkish Cucumber Salad, also called "Cacik" is made with small sweet Persian cucumbers, and tossed with a creamy yogurt dressing, with fresh mint and dill. It's a perfect compliment to grilled meats and fish, offsetting heat and heaviness. I especially love this salad with grilled chicken shawarma, or other Middle Eastern spiced grilled meats. The next day, I like to spoon the leftover salad into warm soft pita bread for a light refreshing lunch.  




The herbs are up, and every time I look at them, I feel happy and inspired to cook. This salad came about from spending time in my ever expanding mint patch yesterday.


Persian cucumbers, if unfamiliar, are technically like all cucumbers, a fruit, but are usually treated and eaten as a vegetable. They are members of the gourd family, Cucurbitaceae. When it comes to cucumbers,  there are three classifications: slicing, burpless and pickling. Persian cucumbers are classified as burpless cucumbers, which tend to be less bitter, milder in flavor and thought to contain less of the burp-causing compound, cucurbitacin.

Their skin is smooth and thin their flesh is crisp, sweet, succulent, and void of developed seeds. They have an amazing capacity to retain water and to remain cool. In fact, it has been found that their interior flesh may be up to twenty degrees cooler than their skin. The perfect Persian cucumber measures 4 to 6 inches in length, as this is the size when they are at their peak of sweetness.  If allowed to grow bigger, bitter tasting seeds can develop which compromises the cucumber's sweetness.


The recipe is fast and easy. Slice the cucumbers, make the creamy yogurt dressing and combine everything in a bowl. 







Have a great  week!!






print recipe

Turkish Cucumber Salad with Dill and Mint
A cool refreshing crunchy cucumber salad with yogurt dill dressing.
Ingredients
1 ½ lbs Persian cucumbers ( 7-8 small cucumbers or 2 English Cuc's )
½ Cup to 1 Cup fresh dill- chopped
½ Cup fresh mint- chopped
⅓ C finely sliced red onion
3/4 C plain Greek yogurt
½ C Sour cream ( or sub yogurt)
⅛ C fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
2 garlic cloves- finely minced or grated
½ tsp kosher salt
cracked pepper
generous pinch sugar
1 T olive oil
⅛ C water


Instructions:
Rinse cucumbers under cold water. If using Persian or English cucumbers, leave peels on. Using a mandolin, or sharp knife, slice into thin uniform disks and place in large bowl. Add chopped dill, chopped mint and thinly sliced onions.
In a small bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients -yogurt, sour cream, lemon juice, minced garlic, salt pepper, sugar, olive oil and water, and stir until smooth. Pour over cucumbers and stir to combine. Taste for salt, and lemon, adjusting if necessary. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Details
Prep time: 15 mins Cook time: Total time: 15 mins Yield: 6