Thursday, February 27, 2014

A Month-of-Recipes: Mediterranean Medley

It happens to me every February. Here we are at the end of the month, and I have more recipes left than days to share them. To solve that problem, I combined several with a relationship to the Mediterranean. So you get more than one recipe today! Three in fact. More than that if you count in how to use the leftovers.

To get your party started, I included tzatziki, olive spread, and Greek Greek Yogurt Dip for your appetizer pleasure. A suggestion for an appetizer party is to do it thematically. Break out the ouzo and retsina to serve with these three. To complete the theme, add garlic-basil dipping oil, grapes, cheeses, veggies, crackers/bread, and hummus (no, I’m not sharing my recipe today--maybe another time). Now that’s the way to party Mediterranean-style!

Tzatziki (makes a little more than 1 ¼ cup)

½ medium cucumber, shredded
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Drain cucumber shreds and minced garlic, then blot with a paper towel to get rid of excess liquid.

In a small mixing bowl, combine yogurt, cucumber, garlic, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Thoroughly blend. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Use leftovers on sandwiches or salads. Mix with hard boiled eggs, shredded cooked chicken, or tuna for salad.

Olive Spread (makes more than one cup)

8 ounces cream cheese (low-fat okay), room temperature
Handful green olives with pimiento
Handful of pitted, medium black olives

In mini-food processor pulse olives to chunky. Add cream cheese and pulse until olives are evenly distributed. Refrigerate for at least one hour. Bring to cool (from cold) before serving with crackers and veggies. Leftovers make a terrific sandwich spread with meat and cheese.

Greek Greek Yogurt Dip (makes one cup)

1 cup Honey Greek Yogurt
2 tablespoons Greek Seasoning (on the spice shelf at your grocer)

Mix Greek seasoning into Greek yogurt and blend thoroughly. Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.

This is a good dip for fruit or veggies. Serve leftovers on a chicken or ham sandwich instead of mustard or mayo. Use as a creamy salad dressing.

DH’s Ratings: Tzatziki--3 Tongues Up (not a cucumber fan)--tasted “too green” to him; Olive Spread--4 Tongues Up--he liked it better on a sandwich than as an appetizer; Greek Greek Yogurt--3 Tongues Up--as mentioned  earlier, he’s not generally a fan of sweetish appetizers

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