I struggle to find uses for cucumbers. Since we get most of our fruits and vegetables from a produce co-op, I sometimes have three large cucumbers in the fridge. We aren’t frequent salad eaters because the kids aren’t fans. So what do I do?
Well, normally I would cut them into wedges and use them as an excuse to eat this buttermilk ranch dressing. Alas, a few weeks ago I found myself with two giant cucumbers AND NO MAYONNAISE. See the problem here? No mayo means no ranch dressing. And I’m not one to snack on plain cucumbers unless I’m really desperate.
So I searched the web for some ideas, knowing that I did have plain yogurt and sour cream in the fridge. The end result of my experimentations was this great dip—a flavorful combination of feta cheese, cucumber, and zesty garlic and chives. I made this using plain Greek yogurt, which is very thick. If you want to try it with regular plain yogurt, I would recommend starting with less oil, or alternately, place 1 ½ cups of regular yogurt in a mesh strainer lined with a cheesecloth, thin kitchen towel, or coffee filter and let it drain over a bowl for an hour or two to make a thicker yogurt.
This tangy dip is great with vegetables, but I’ll admit to liking it best with some buttery crackers. It would also make a great sandwich spread.
A word of warning—this dip has some real zing. If you prefer food of the milder variety, you may want to stick with the more standard cucumber-ranch dip. Unless you have no mayonnaise, and then I say good luck to you. Make pickles?
Enjoy this zesty feta-cucumber-garlic dip, and be warned, it’s hard to stop eating it once you start. I finished off almost an entire recipe of this stuff by myself.
- 1 cup shredded cucumber
- ¼ tsp. kosher salt
- ¾ cup plain Greek yogurt
- ¾ cup light sour cream
- ¼ cup canola oil (or olive oil)
- 2 TBS red wine vinegar
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 ½ tsp dried dill
- 1 ½ tsp dried chives
- ¼ cup feta cheese, crumbled
- Additional salt to taste
Place the cucumber in a colander or mesh strainer positioned over a bowl or sink. Toss the cucumber gently with the salt. Let it rest for at least 30 minutes to allow excess water to drain out of the cucumber.
In a bowl whisk together the yogurt, sour cream, oil, vinegar, dill and chives. Stir in the cucumber and feta cheese. Add additional salt to taste. Thin with milk or buttermilk if desired. Chill for at least a few hours before serving for the best flavor.
Makes about 3 cups.