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Tzatziki dip is a traditional cool, creamy, and tangy cucumber dip flavored with garlic. It is the perfect compliment to grilled meats and vegetables. It’s served on the side with warm pita bread triangles for dipping, and is also used as a condiment for souvlaki and other Greek dishes. Garnish with a sprig of fresh dill just before serving.

Prep / Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6-8

Ingredients:
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced finely
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. white pepper
  • 2 cups greek yogurt, strained
  • 2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh dill
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh mint

Directions:

  1. Combine olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Mix until well combined.
  2. Using a whisk, mix the yogurt in a bowl.
  3. Add the olive oil mixture to the yogurt mixture and mix well.
  4. Finally, add the cucumber, chopped fresh dill & mint.
  5. Chill for at least two hours before serving. Garnish with a sprig of fresh dill just before serving.
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Thai Chicken Marinade

Ingredients (covers 4 chicken breasts):

  • 4 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 6 teaspoons dried mint, crumbled
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Directions: Whisk the vinegar, mint, red pepper flakes, 1 clove garlic and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a shallow dish. Gradually whisk in 3 tablespoons olive oil. Add the chicken and marinate about 15 minutes.

This makes a light, healthy recipe. Great for parties.
(Based on a recipe from The Food Network website.)

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 3 teaspoons mint, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cucumber, peeled & chopped
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 4 pocketless pitas
  • 1/2 cup hummus

Directions:

  1. Whisk the vinegar, mint, red pepper flakes, 1 clove garlic and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a shallow dish. Gradually whisk in 3 tablespoons olive oil. Add the chicken and marinate about 15 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, mix the tomatoes, cucumber and the remaining 1 clove garlic in a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

  3. Preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Grill the chicken until cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board and slice into 1/2-inch-thick strips. Toss with the vegetables.

  4. Brush the pitas with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt. Grill, turning once, until marked. Place a pita on each plate and spread with hummus. Top with chicken salad.

Dairy-Free Mushroom Risotto

Ingredients:

  • Olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped onion
  • 1 cup cremini mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh white button mushrooms, chopped
  • Fresh thyme
  • 1 1/s cups Arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 3-5 cups chicken or vegetable broth

Directions:

  1. Saute chopped garlic and onions in 1 Tbsp. olive oil for 6-8 minutes.
  2. Add mushrooms and thyme. Cook for 4 minutes.
  3. Add 1 Tbsp.  olive oil and the rice. Stir constantly for 4 minutes or  until the rice begins to make a popping sound.
  4. Add 1/2 cup white wine. Stir until absorbed.
  5. Add 3/4 cup broth and stir until absorbed.
  6. Continue adding 3/4 cups of broth and stirring until absorbed until the rice is translucent around the edges, about 20 minutes.

This is another recipe from our Sur La Table cooking class. It is delicious.

Crust Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal (not stone-ground)
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) COLD unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 4-5 Tbsp. ice water

Filling Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup mascarpone cheese (8 oz)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 3 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 1/2 lb. fresh figs

Crust Directions:

  1. Pulse together flour, cornmeal, sugar, and salt in a food processor. Add butter and rosemary and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal with some small (pea-size) butter lumps. Drizzle evenly with ice water and pulse until just incorporated. Gently squeeze a small handful. If it doesn’t hold together, add more water, 1/2 tsp. at a time, pulsing after each addition and continue to test.
  2. Press dough evenly onto the bottom and up the sides of a tart pan with floured fingers. Roll a rolling pin gently over the top of the pan to get dough flush with the rim. Chill crust in the fridgerator until firm, about 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake crust in middle of oven until center and edges are golden, 25 to 30 minutes (don’t worry if the bottom of the crust cracks), then cool in pan on a rack. While cooling, prepare the filling…

Prepare Filling:

  1. Whisk together sour cream, mascarpone, sugar, zest, and salt in a bowl.
  2. Heat honey in a small saucepan over moderately low heat, whisking until melted, then cool slightly.
  3. Remove tart crust from the pan (if possible) and spread the cream mixture inside. Cut figs lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick slices and arrange decoratively over cream. Drizzle figs with honey glaze.

Notes:

  • Crust can be made 1 day ahead and kept, uncovered, at room temperature.
  • Mascarpone mixture can be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered.
  • Tart can be assembled 1 hour ahead and kept, loosely covered, at room temperature.

Poached Salmon

Poaching salmon in a vegetable broth adds some nice flavor to the fish. This recipe makes a great, quick weeknight meal. Healthy too.

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

  • 4 6-ounce salmon fillets, bones and skin removed
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 celery stock, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • sea salt & pepper

Directions:

  1. In a deep saute pan, bring the water, wine, lemon juice & zest, onion, carrot, celery, bay leaf, salt and pepper to a boil for five minutes.
  2. Strain the ingredients then return the liquid to the pan (discard the cooked items). Return the liquid to a boil, add the salmon fillets, lower the heat and simmer the fish for approximately 6-8 minutes. If the fish is not completely covered with the poaching liquid, turn the fish over once carefully during the cooking process.
  3. Remove the salmon from the pan and transfer to a wooden cutting board. Allow the excess water to drain, then serve.

Caponata

My hubby and I recently took a cooking class at the local Sur La Table. This was my favorite take-away. We ate it as a side dish with Salmon, but would make an equally lovely side-dish or topping for other types of fish, chicken, or red meats. The longer this simmers, the better it tastes. It took about 1 hour total to cook this dish.

Servings: 8

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 ribs celery, diced
  • 4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 anchovies, minced (optional)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 medium eggplant, diced into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 3 cups peeled and diced tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp. capers, drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped black or green olives

Directions:

  1. Over medium heat, saute the onions and celery in the olive oil until the onions are brown around the edges.
  2. Add the garlic, anchovies, salt and pepper to the onion and celery mixture. Turn heat to low and cook, uncovered, while dicing the bell pepper and eggplant.
  3. Add the diced pepper and eggplant. Cook over medium heat until the eggplant is almost falling apart. (The eggplant will soak up all of the oil in the pan. Don’t add more. If the eggplant sticks too much, toss a spoonful of water to loosen it.)
  4. Add the tomatoes and simmer, partially covered, until the tomatoes are cooked, 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Stir in the vinegar, capers, and olives. Simmer uncovered for a few minutes (until no longer watery) then season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Transfer to a bowl and cool, uncovered. Serve at room temperature.