Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Food : Tzatziki {Dairy Free}

Hi friends!

Our local farmers market has me jumping for joy every weekend with awesome new ingredients to play with.  I've been buying figs from the sweetest old lady with hopes of turning them into fig cookies or a sweet summer jam, but alas they have been eaten way too fast for any such creations.  I did manage to restrain myself from making more lacto-fermented pickles with my bounty of cucumbers so we could enjoy this versatile dip.

In case you haven't noticed, I have an obsession with turning my once beloved Greek recipes into modern healthy versions.  Its quite common during the summer to find any one member of my family chowing down on a Gyro (YEER-oh).  The Greek sandwich that changed the world is a pillowy soft flat bread wrapped around tender lamb, lettuce, tomato, onion, and slathered in Tzatziki ( dza-DZEE-kee ).  The flavor combination of the sandwich has been forever engraved in my brain even though it's been years since I've actually taken a bite.  Since swearing off gluten and dairy the gyro of my childhood would have to be just a memory.  That is, until I realized with a few tweaks to my pine nut cheese that I may be able to re-create the faint memory of the creamy garlic spread from my childhood.

Hard work pays off. 

This is the dip dreams are made of.


This creamy garlic dip can be a great vehicle for eating more veggies.  It goes great with chips too, although my favorite use is spreading it onto sandwiches or adding a dollop to the protein of your choice.  

 2 medium seedless cucumbers, peeled and grated (about 2 cup)
1 1/4 cups pine nuts
 2 garlic cloves
1 T olive oil
2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1 T chopped fresh dill
kalamata olives for garnish

1.  Soak pine nuts in cold water for 20 minutes. Sprinkle grated cucumbers with a few teaspoons of salt  until some of the liquid is released. Squeeze any excess moisture from grated cucumber w/ a kitchen towel and add to a medium sized bowl.
2.   Rinse pine nuts and add to bowl of food processor along with garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, and salt.  Puree until well blended, adding more lemon juice to help the food processor along if needed.  Taste and add salt, lemon, or pepper to your liking.
3.   Stir pine nut dip and dill with grated cucumbers and chill until ready to serve.  Top with kalamata olives (optional) 

Delish!  Enjoy!

- Melanie


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