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Beet Tzatziki

In Appetizers / Starters On May 11, 2023 0 Comments


Prep time: 10 minutes
Makes: 2-1/2 cups tzatziki

Tzatziki (Greek) is also known as cacik (Turkish). It is a dip or sauce with a yogurt base and found in Southeastern Europe and the Middle East.

In Greece, classic Tzatziki is made with yogurt, chopped cucumbers, salt and garlic. It’s served as a cold appetizer (mezze) and usually accompanied by pita bread. People also enjoy tzatziki as a side dish or sauce on souvlaki (meat on a skewer) or gyros (sliced meat wrapped in pita bread).

A few weeks ago, in Athens, Greece, I was served beet tzatziki and I loved it. Here’s my version of it (it’s pretty authentic). This is an easy appetizer for Mothers’ Day!

Two medium whole beets (peeled, each wrapped in aluminum foil & baked in a 400°F oven for 40 minutes), cooled & cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1/2 cup Greek yogurt (whole or low-fat milk)
1 teaspoon salt
3 cloves garlic, peeled & crushed
Juice from 1 to 2 lemons
2 tablespoons tahini paste

1. In a glass blender (do not use a plastic blender or food processor or it will become permanently stained by beats), place cubed beets, yogurt, salt, garlic, juice from 1 lemon and tahini paste.

2. Pulse-blend a few times. You will need a spatula to scrape down sides and stir ingredients.

3. Repeat pulse-blending and scraping/stirring until the tzatziki dip is uniform.

4. Taste and adjust salt and lemon levels.

5. Transfer the beet tzatziki to a glass bowl, cover with plastic and refrigerate up to a day ahead.

6. Serve beet tzatziki with pita wedges as an appetizer (mezze). Alternatively, serve it as a side to grilled meat, chicken or fish or as part of a vegetarian/vegan meal.
Text & Photograph ©2023 Nancy DeLucia Real

Toasts with Prosciutto, Green Onions & Oregano

In Appetizers / Starters On December 25, 2015 0 Comments

Here’s an easy appetizer to go along with the bubbly on New Year’s Eve – eat, drink and be cautious.
Happy New Year!

Prep time: 20 to 25 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6

18 slices toasts made from baguette bread (½-inch thick slices)
10 slices prosciutto (they should not be paper thin, but a little thicker)
6 green onions, dark green stems and bottom tips cut and discarded
3 sprigs fresh oregano, leaves removed & stems discarded
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Arugula leaves, optional (for garnish)

1. Toast the bread slices until they are light golden brown; set them aside on a platter.

2. Coarsely chop the prosciutto slices and set aside in a bowl.

3. Meanwhile, cut the green onions in 1/8-inch thick circles; set aside in a separate bowl.

4. Chop the oregano leaves; set them aside on the cutting board.

5. With stove setting on high, heat the olive oil in a skillet. When the oil is hot, add the chopped prosciutto with onions and chopped oregano.

6. Reduce heat to medium and, with a wooden spoon, stir-fry the mixture for 1 to 2 minutes or until the onions are softened and translucent.

7. Stir in the pepper. Spread the prosciutto mixture evenly over toasts.

8. If desired, garnish with arugula leaves and serve immediately.
Text and Photograph ©2015 Nancy DeLucia Real