Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Bulgarian Cucumber Salad

serves 4 as a side dish


My Flavors of Central Europe tour continues, and it’s driving me wild. When Chris and I got back from our trip in 2006, one of the first things I tried to recreate was the cucumber-yogurt salads we’d had in Bulgaria. This is a significant departure from those simple, refreshing summer salads--which were not much more than cucumbers and thick, creamy yogurt—but, I LOVE it! I cobbled the recipe together from a few others that I found, and right now it is dancing in my mouth, making me possibly the happiest woman that ever ate cucumber salad while typing on the computer and watching ‘Follow that Bird’ with her toddler. Why else is this salad great? Because it’s full of excellent sources of fat and protein, as well as fibrous, water-packed cucumber. I’m pretty sure this will be on regular rotation this summer—especially when the garden gets going.

1/2 C minced red onion

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 C finely chopped dill pickle

1 1/2 C coarsely chopped cucumber (I like English cucumbers best)

3/4 C thick plain yogurt

1 tsp vinegar

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp dried dill (I wish I’d had fresh, but…)

ground walnuts to garnish

Combine the onion and garlic in a bowl of water and let them soak while you prepare the rest of the salad—the water bath will neutralize the acids and help prevent extreme garlic-onion breath. Combine the pickle, cucumber, yogurt, vinegar, salt and dill. Drain the onion and garlic and add to the mix. Stir until well combined. Garnish each serving with about 2 Tbs ground walnuts.

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