Persian Cucumbers, Mint and Yogurt Recipes

Quinoa-Zucchini Cakes with a Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce

Quinoa-Zucchini Cakes with a Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce IMG_6949_E_smThese cakes are fantastic warm or cold and are made even more delicious when enjoyed with a dollop or two of the cucumber-yogurt sauce. The quinoa in the cakes makes for a nice bite. Adapted from Cooking Light. Makes about 8 cakes.

Quinoa-Zucchini Cakes:

  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 2 zucchini, grated
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 3 Tbsp chopped fresh dill, plus a couple sprigs for garnish
  • About 1/2 cup Nicasio Valley Cheese Company’s Organic Foggy Morning with Basil & Garlic cheese, available at Sigona’s
  • 2 eggs, such as Wattle & Comb pastured eggs, available at Sigona’s
  • 2 Tbsp Sigona’s Fresh Press Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 4 cups mixed salad greens, optional

Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce:

  • About 2 Persian cucumbers, peeled and diced, about 1 ½ cups
  • 6 oz. plain Greek yogurt, such as Fage
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1 Tbsp Sigona’s Fresh Press Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions: In a small bowl, mix together the cucumber, yogurt, mint, oil and garlic; season with salt. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Remove excess liquid from the grated zucchini by placing it in a kitchen towel or paper towels and squeezing over the sink.

Place quinoa in a food processor; process to grind for about a minute (it’s fine if it’s not finely ground). Add the walnuts and process until the walnuts are smooth.

In a large bowl, combine zucchini, green onions, dill, cheese and eggs and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle quinoa mixture over zucchini mixture; stir well to combine.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Scoop out about a 1/3 cup of the zucchini batter at a time, and pat to flatten each scoop in your palms to make 3-inch-wide cakes. Add 4 cakes at a time to the skillet and cook about 4 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove from pan; keep warm. Repeat.

If using, divide greens evenly among 4 plates, or place 2 cakes on each of 4 plates, and top each serving with about 1/4 cup cucumber mixture. Serve.

Pork Souvlaki with a Greek Yogurt, Cucumber & Mint Sauce

Pork Souvlaki with a Greek Yogurt, Cucumber & Mint Sauce IMG_6977_E_smThis is our take on a classic Greek dish. You’ll love the flavor that Sigona’s Oregano Balsamic gives the pork, especially when topped with the yogurt sauce. Serves 4.

Pork Skewers:

Yogurt, Cucumber & Mint Sauce:

For Serving (optional):

  • Naan or pita bread, toasted or grilled if desired

Directions: In a small bowl, mix together the cucumber, yogurt, mint, oil and garlic; season with salt. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

For the skewers, place all the ingredients in a large, sealable plastic bag. Seal it and give it a good shake. Allow ingredients to marinate at least 2 hours or overnight. Flip at least once while marinating.

About 30 minutes before you’re ready to grill, remove ingredients from the bag, discarding the marinade. Evenly thread on meat and onions onto each skewer, making them as long or as short as you desire.

Preheat a grill over medium-high heat. Place assembled skewers on the grill and cook for about 15 to 20 minutes, turning every 3 minutes. The pork is done when meat is cooked through and they have nice grill marks. Final internal cooking temp for pork is 145°F.

Serve the pork and onion skewers with naan or pita bread and the yogurt sauce.

Crisp Cucumber, Kalamata & Mint Salad

Crisp Cucumber, Kalamata & Mint Salad IMG_6920_E_smYou’ll absolutely love how these simple flavors meld together to make for a crisp, refreshing salad. Serves 2 to 4.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Persian cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced on the bias
  • 1 Tbsp chopped shallot
  • 1/3 cup halved and pitted kalamata olives (find them in the Sigona’s olive bar!)
  • 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp Sigona’s Fresh Press Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Black pepper, to taste

Directions: In a medium bowl, combine the cucumber, shallot and olives.

In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, mint, garlic and olive oil. Season with pepper to taste.

Toss the cucumber mixture with the dressing and serve.

Cucumber Gazpacho with Tarragon Toasted Croutons

Local Cucumber Gazpacho with Tarragon Toasted Croutons IMG_6961_E_smSuch a nice, cool and refreshing dish on a hot day. All you have to do is blend, chill and enjoy. Inspired by Cooking Light. Serves 4 to 6.

Cucumber Gazpacho:

  • 4 Persian cucumbers, peeled and chopped, about 3 cups
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 large green tomato, chopped, such as a green zebra heirloom tomato, about 2 cups, OR 2 cups chopped celery
  • 3/4 cup diced yellow bell pepper or mini sweet peppers
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped Vidalia or Walla Walla sweet onion
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • 2 ½ Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Sigona’s Tarragon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Water, if needed, for thinning soup
  • Plain Greek yogurt, such as Fage, for dolloping

Tarragon Croutons:

Directions: To the bowl of a large food processor, add cucumber, garlic, tomato, peppers, onion, mint and red wine vinegar. While blending, drizzle in the olive oil and continue to process until smooth. Cover and chill (up to 8 hours) while you make the croutons.

Preheat oven to 450°F. Smash the garlic clove; place in a small bowl with 1 teaspoon oil. Microwave at HIGH for 15 seconds; let stand 5 minutes. Drizzle garlic oil over bread cubes; toss to coat. Spread the cubes out in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake for 8 minutes or until browned, turning once.

When ready to serve the chilled gazpacho, access if mixture should be thinned. If so, add up to 1/2 cup water to thin soup, if desired. Ladle soup into bowls, dollop with Greek yogurt and top with croutons.

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