Hot weather in the Rockies calls for cool salad ideas. One of my favorite salads is a simple cucumber made with Fage yogurt. I have made this before with Bulgarian style yogurt but this thick Greek yogurt takes the prize. Seriously thick, there is no sense of depravation with the o% fat. For those of you who haven't tried this style of yogurt, the key differentiator with Greek style yogurt is that it is strained of its water. As a result it is creamier and has a higher protein content.
Thanks to Fage, the interest in this traditional style of yogurt has created a multi-million dollar category at the grocery store. Fage is by far the most prominent (and one of the best in my humble opinion) as it was first to market. But there are lots of brands out there now offering this style yogurt. Just make sure that the ingredient statment doesn't include gums or stabilizers, as these are not true Greek yogurts.
Cool, Creamy Cucumbers
1 large English cucumber, sliced 1/4 inch thick on the diagonal
1/2 bunch chives, snipped, or 3 scallions, sliced thinly
1 cup Fage 0% yogurt
1 fresh lime, zest from 1/2 the lime, and then juiced (freshly squeezed orange juice works nicely too)
4 or 5 sprigs of cilantro (or fresh mint), chopped
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
salt and pepper or Grains of Paradise
rice wine vinegar to taste, or the juice of 1/2 an orange
1/4 cup Olive oil
Water -to thin out as desired.
salt and pepper
Place the cucumbers into a large bowl. In a separate mixing bowl add the yogurt to your seasonings and stir. Now add the citrus juices and/or rice wine vinegar. Mix well and then slowly add the olive oil. Adjust seasonings and add water if you want it thinner – to your liking.
Pour mixture over the cucumbers. Toss to coat the cukes well. You can place in the refrigerator for a few hours but just before serving mix them again and garnish as you wish. These would be swell with quinoa patties which are posting in a few days.