Wednesday, February 16, 2011

always on my mind - Turkish Yogurt Sauce

I remember Nigella Lawson once said that when she gets the urge to travel but can’t, she turns to cookbooks. I am very much the same. I’ve always read cookbooks like novels; you can generally judge how much time I spend in a room by the number of cookbooks I leave behind. At the moment I am currently surrounded by 3 new library finds, one from West Africa, another about Halal foods, and the last is a really beautiful book featuring recipes from Morocco, Turkey, and Lebanon. It’s a nice little spread.

The purpose of this post is perhaps more selfish than usual as its main intent is to provide a safe place for an almost embarrassingly simple recipe. It’s just that it’s too damn good to lose and I think I might be a little obsessed. I’ve used it on top of plain cooked vegetables, a dip for cold veg, instead of mayo on a sandwich, instead of that spoonful of yogurt on your lentil soup, it really does go everywhere, and it gets better the longer you let it sit in the fridge.
Based on Claudia Roden’s Recipe

 Turkish Yogurt Sauce
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (you aren’t cooking here, so please skip the canola)
  • 250g Greek style yogurt
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
  • A few good shakes of smoked paprika (if you don’t already own some, I highly recommend getting some)
  • A shallot or a very small little runt of an onion, finely chopped
  • salt & pepper 
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped flat leafed parsley (it’s always best to buy the flat leaf stuff because it’s much easier to wash and the grit doesn’t get stuck in its pretty little curls) 
  1. Mix everything together in a bowl.
  2. Let sit, at least an hour or so. The longer the better. 
  3. Put a little extra parsley and a drizzle of olive oil on top to make it look fancy if you want to impress someone.

This recipe began life as an eggplant puree thing, so by all means go ahead and make the original version, complete with 2 - 3 eggplants roasted in a 475 F oven for about an hour, stripped of their skin and squeezed of their juices when cooled and finally pureed with the everything else … but it was a lot of extra work that didn’t necessarily benefit from the eggplant. I think the eggplant would be better served roasted in slices and then topped with the sauce instead.

For your whistling pleasure ...


Alyson said...

Nigella is a wise woman. I get the same way - food is the closest I can come to recreating the experience of being in a place... or imagining a place.

Anonymous said...

hi, new to the site, thanks.