Cucumbers and Yogurt are Saucy and Versatile

While in Minneapolis last weekend, after a light Sunday breakfast at Sunstreet Breads, (Heavy Table recently had a nice write-up about Sun Street with photos) my husband and I stopped at the nearby Kingfield Farmers Market. We had discovered this lively market last summer. Last summer, Sun Street owner, Sovlveig Tofte, was selling her delicious bakery at the market. My husband bought one of her rhubarb turnovers that day and was talking about it for a week. He was so happy to find them at her Sun Street Breads when we were there for breakfast. He even shared it with me. Yes, those turnovers are just the right balance of sweet, tart and flaky and they make you sigh with indulgent satisfaction.

I was delighted to find Foxy Falafel at the market again this summer. I remembered watching people pedal for a smoothie at her booth.

On this summer’s visit to the Kingfield Farmers Market, I was ready to try a Foxy Falafel fresh pita stuffed with shreds of pickled cabbage, tomatoes and cucumbers with hummus and bite-sized chunks of falafel, of course. I did a pita of half beet falafel and half traditional (chickpea). It was just the kind of sandwich I was looking for — it’s a hold-with-two-hands hefty and wholesome meal . I felt so good and healthy after that lunch. I didn’t take pictures, but you’ll enjoy this piece about Erica Strait, the chef behind Foxy Falafel, written by Sarah Rykal over at Simple, Good and Tasty. My friend Crystal, over at Cafe Cyan, wrote about Foxy Falafel’s debut on the market scene last summer and has a few pictures, too.

After that Foxy Falafel sandwich at the market, I was ready to make my own when I got home. Jenny Breen’s cookbook, “Cooking Up The Good Life,” was my guide as I ventured into the land of falafel-making. I followed Breen’s recipe precisely and wound up with amazingly wonderful falafel. Along with her Tahini Sauce, I added my own yogurt-based cucumber sauce.

I often use this sauce as a dressing for a salad of fresh greens. It’s wonderful stirred into tuna salad. Spoon it alongside grilled meat or roasted vegetables for a real taste-treat. And, don’t forget, it’s a must with homemade falafel, whether it’s stuffed into pita or served as an appetizer. You’ll find the Falafel recipe I used from Cooking Up The Good Life in my column this week. Click here.

Yogurt-Cucumber Sauce

  • 1 cup whole milk yogurt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon mint leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup peeled and finely chopped seedless cucumber
  • 1 chubby clove garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients in a 4-cup glass measure or mixing bowl. Cover and allow to sit in refrigerator for at least a couple of hours for flavors to develop. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Tips from the cook

  • Fresh dill weed is a nice substitute for mint when you can pick it from your garden or buy it at the farmers market.
  • Look for seedless cucumbers later in the summer at your local farmers market. In the supermarket, you’ll find the long, slender, seedless cucumbers wrapped in plastic in the produce department.
  • Watch as I share tips and prepare Yogurt-Cucumber Sauce on Lakeland Public Television. Click here.
  • See more about last year’s visit to Kingfield Farmers Market and other interesting places when I vacationed in Minneapolis last summer by clicking right here.

6 thoughts on “Cucumbers and Yogurt are Saucy and Versatile

  1. Pingback: Orange Pecan French Toast and Recipe Roundup | The Heavy Table - Minneapolis-St. Paul and Upper Midwest Food Magazine and Blog

    • Looks like you’ve got some quality ingredients, Jessica. I am fortunate to be able to purchase Himalayan sea salt and organic peppercorns at my local natural food co-op. I love the salt. I use the fine-ground HimalaSalt all of the time. You will enjoy the wonderful flavor your new ingredients deliver.

  2. Joanna, I often chop clean rhubarb and freeze it in portions that I will need to make crisps or pies. I’ve never blanched rhubarb before freezing, but I’ve read that it helps retain color and flavor. You can most definitely freeze unbaked rhubarb pies. Just wrap and seal well before putting in freezer. I think it best to bake the pies within 4 months of freezing. Rhubarb pie sounds so good right now!

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