Easy Summer Recipes: Mediterranean Cucumber Salad (cacık)
Cacık (pronounced "ja-juk") is a common appetizer, or meze , in Turkey - and most other Mediterranean countries. It's simple to make and very conducive to leftovers, not only keeping well but deepening in flavor over the course of a few days. Going on a picnic, or to a barbaque? Cacık is fantastic on its own, as a side dish, or as a sauce for anything from chicken to quesedillas.
Best of all, it's great for helpful children (lots of stirring) and busy folks of all ages (takes a maximum of 10 minutes, and only 5 if you've got a garlic press).
And as you can see, even my cat comes running when cacık is on the menu.
Although of course she can't have any. Dairy makes her unsociably stinky.
- süzme yoğurt/greek or, chilled
- cucumbers, corsely chopped
- to taste mint, dried or fresh
- to taste sea salt, coarse (table salt is fine, if that's all you've got)
- to taste garlic, pressed, or diced and smooshed
- Decant as much yogurt as you like. About half a cup per person if you'll be using the cacık as a side dish or dip. A cup per person if it's more of a main event. NOTE: If you want more of a soupy dish, you can dilute the yogurt with water. Add a tablespoon at a time until you have the consistency you want.
- Wash the cucumbers and chop coarsely. You can leave the skin - it's pretty and nutritious. (Just make sure it's well washed). Add to the yogurt.
- Crush your garlic and add it and your chosen spices (mint, salt) to the bowl of cucumber and yogurt.
- Mix it all together!
- Ta DA. You can let it sit in the fridge for a few hours, or serve directly. The garlic etc. will get a little bit stronger if you let it sit.