Monday, June 15, 2009

Two Turkish Breakfasts: # 2 Turkish Yogurt

Last Sunday I finally did it - I went swimming in the lake! I'm told that going for a swim in Lake Zürich is the mark of summer, which is the best season. I broke out the new bikini (purchased in three separate places) and the new floatie (called a würmli or "little worm"), braved the water which was 70ish/24 degrees, and hung out. My flatmate is a certified life guard so my complete lack of prowess in the water wasn't a grave issue. That evening her sister, who is virtually a bloody gourmet chef, had us over for dinner - delightful steak, salad, and this creme fraiche mixture that I couldn't stop eating with pitted olives. I passed on the potatoes but the aroma alone was pleasing enough :) I went to bed happily stuffed.

For breakfast I decided to finally try this excellent Turkish dish I had seen last week during the conference all started with my discovery that what we call Greek yogurt actually originates from Turkey. Yogurt is in fact a Turkish word! It's served in every meal, for example on my last day I had lamb meatballs with grilled veggies and yogurt (as opposed to giant bun and fries). As soon as I got back to Switzerland I found a fine grocer and bought several cartons of this yogurt (including some made from sheep's milk), which I used for...

Spinach in Turkish Yogurt

150g (about 3/4 cup) of strained (Greek) yogurt
1-2 cloves of garlic
1 T lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
1 T olive oil
1/2 cup of frozen spinach*

  • Finely chop the garlic and add it to the yogurt along with the salt, pepper, and lemon juice.
  • Chill the Turkish yogurt, the longer the better (I left it overnight but even 30 minutes should be fine).
  • Meanwhile, sautée spinach in the olive oil. Feel free to sprinkle a little salt if you'd like. Chill for a little while as well.

  • Whenever you're ready, mix the spinach into the Turkish yogurt and eat! I topped mine with soft goat cheese.
*I bet this would be even better with fresh spinach, which I would rinse, chop quite finely, and braise in olive oil until wilted. In Turkey it's often made with purslane, and I'm dying to try it with grated carrots. This serves 1 as a meal, two as a side. I ate the whole thing :)

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