The Next Thing in Yogurt: Savory, Not Sweet
“Between fresh and rotten, there’s a creative space in which the most compelling flavors arise.” That’s what fermenting guru Sandor Katz, author of The Art of Fermentation (Chelsea Green), has to say about what happens when our food gets deliciously and nutritiously transformed by Lactobacillus, one of the so-called “good” bacteria that makes foods like pickles, wine, kimchi, sourdough bread possible.
One of the most common products of Lactobacillus is yogurt, and it’s one of the healthiest foods on the planet, particularly when live and active cultures are included. In addition to the protein and nutrients in the milk, these probiotics help regulate the microflora (the natural balance of organisms) in the intestines and aid other bodily functions such as digestion and immune function. But so many popular varieties on the market are filled with added sugars, and those extra calories and carbohydrates offset some of these health benefits. And so, inspired by Blue Hill’s just-released line of beet-, tomato-, and carrot-flavored yogurts in the U.S., I’m thinking it’s time to expand our milquetoast thinking on yogurt and add some spice and savory to our dairy.
Around the world, savory yogurt has been eaten for centuries, either as a dish on its own or incorporated into a variety of dishes. For your next breakfast, try having plain yogurt with drizzled olive oil, chopped cucumbers, diced tomatoes, and a sprinkle of salt. Or as a side dish—particularly with spicy meals—think Indian raita, which can simple made with 1/2 cup of plain yogurt with 1/4 teaspoon each of dried coriander and cumin, sliced cucumbers and torn fresh cilantro or mint leaves. And as a healthy appetizer or snack, swap some low-fat yogurt for the usual sour cream in your artichoke and spinach dip. You won’t look back.
Below is a recipe for killer tzatziki by Einat Admony, who just released the cookbook, Balaboosta: Bold Mediterranean Recipes. Try it with roasted veggies or grilled meats.
Makes about 2 cups
1 1⁄2 cups yogurt
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1⁄3 cup finely chopped unpeeled cucumber
1⁄2 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 1⁄2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
1 1⁄2 teaspoons kosher salt
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and whisk until thoroughly mixed. Keep the tzatziki chilled until ready to use. It’s best used that day, but can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days.
Photo (cc) Wikipedia by Elisabeth Nara.
Excerpted from Balaboosta by Einat Admony (Artisan Books); copyright © 2013
Books Stop Bullets at Tragic FSU Shooting A tragic shooting, a confusing profile of a would-be-killer, and a student saved by his library books
These Grandmas Smoke Pot For The First Time. And They Absolutely Love it. They take a few epic bong rips before waxing poetic on the merits of ironing, mistake a vaporizer for a sex toy, and stonily lose track of whatever thoughts they were briefly attempting to articulate.
If You See One Iranian Vampire Western Movie This Year, Make it This One The chador-wearing, skateboarding, vampire protagonist of A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night would fit right in to a John Hughes movie
There’s No Reason for Any Nation Not to Vaccinate its Feral Dogs Targeting the semi-wild dogs that roam city streets and rural hamlets all over the world can break the chain of rabies transmission and eliminate cases in humans
The Secret Origin of Neil deGrasse Tyson It took perseverance, intense training, and a willingness to defy expectations to turn a curious kid into the sharp, affable scientist we know today.
VITAMINS 101: Know What You Need Get the dish on your nutrition
Games Theory: 6 Views of a Mockingjay Just how socially relevant is The Hunger Games? Let us count the ways.
Here’s to You A toast to local hotspots around the world The best of the world’s neighborhood nooks.
Are Poop Puns the New Ice Buckets? Celebrating the Grand Poobah of Poop on World Toilet Day
Scientists Close in on the Notorious Cruise Ship Virus The days of norovirus, known for sickening seaborne travelers like those on a recent Princess Cruises vessel, may be numbered.
The Windy City Brought to Life by Matthew Hoffman Artist and designer Matthew Hoffman’s visual love letter to the Windy City.
Learning to Tell Their Own Stories to Better Their Futures 826LA helps underprivileged students defeat writer’s block and discover stories worth telling in their college essays.