A cucumber and mint yogurt is a must in any mezze!
There is nothing like the freshness that yogurt brings to a meal, but that freshness is taken to a whole other level when you add cucumbers, mint and garlic.
Wow! What a flavor.
My favorite is always the mellow taste of sheep’s yogurt, but any plain yogurt will do.
I do not like flavored yogurts, mainly because they are usually full of sugar. Plus I just love the slightly tangy taste of fresh plain yogurt.
The word for yogurt in Arabic is ‘laben’ from which ‘labeneh’ (a semi soft cream cheese) is derived.
The simple way to make labeneh, which can be used in a variety of ways in Middle Eastern cuisine, is to pour fresh yogurt into cheese cloth and hang so the whey will drain out of the yogurt.
You can use the whey in place of water to add flavor to your favorite bread recipe.
After allowing the yogurt to drain through the cheesecloth for a day or two you will have the most wonderful cheese spread.
If you want to go a step further you can make your own yogurt using fresh milk.
Yogurt was around for a long time before we could buy every kind of variety in the supermarket.
In fact it was thought to have originated in what is now the Middle East between 5000 and 6000 BC.
After milking livestock the natural enzymes would curdle the milk creating a type of yogurt.
Making your own would be about as easy a process.
Milk and a little bit of fresh yogurt as a starter and then incubate for 9 hours.
Afterwards cool and refrigerate.
Homemade yogurt! Yum!
One great thing to do with this dish is to have it on hand whenever you have a barbeque.
It goes so well with all kinds of grilled meats, and is perfect as a side dish on its own.
Combined with a fresh salad and grilled vegetables, your barbeque is sure to be a winner.
Mint & Cucumber Yogurt
- Dice the cucumber and mix in bowl with all other ingredients.
- Garnish and serve.