The combination of crisp cucumber chunks, tangy yogurt and herbs like fresh sage and spearmint leaves a cool, refreshing feeling in the mouth. Add in some lemon juice and zest and some Italian parsley and you have the perfect side dish for a hot evening...and it's very Mediterranean, too.
When I went to the lower field to harvest the spearmint for this, I discovered that most of the mint had been mown down when Sweetie mowed the field with the tractor last week. Since the stuff is usually all over the place...which is why you don't want to plant it with your prized flowers or vegetables...it takes over!...I was stunned. It took a bit of searching to find some small sprigs for this recipe, the salad, and for garnish. Next time I'll pick some before he gets out the tractor.
Cucumber with Yogurt and Herbs
Serves 2-3 persons as an appetizer
10-12 fresh spearmint leaves (dried doesn't work very well with this herb for this dish)
5-6 fresh sage leaves (or the equivalent in dry form)
2 tablespoons minced flat leaf parsley
1 quart of yogurt, plain...I used full fat organic, but I suspect that low or nonfat would work, too
zest and juice of 1/2 a lemon
Rinse and peel the cucumbers (I left some of the peel on for color) and cut into bite sized chunks. Mix the herbs into the yogurt. Pour the yogurt over the cucumbers. Add the lemon zest and juice and stir to mix well. Chill for at least an hour to mingle the flavors. Serve cold.