From the moment I sat down at my friend’s table and tried her mint yogurt sauce, I’ve had a container of it in my own fridge. She will be glad to know that I have finally written down a recipe for myself so I can now stop texting her many times asking, “Okay, one last time, I promise. What did you put in that yogurt again?”
It’s remarkably simple, really. One would think I would have remembered the ingredients the first time I asked since it’s only yogurt, rice wine vinegar, dried mint, garlic, cayenne and salt. You guys, I’m telling you, it’s the dried mint. I hadn’t used it before except when brewing a cup of mint tea and now I am finding myself tucking it into everything.
Dried mint is deeper, darker than fresh. The flavor is not as bright and zippy and mouth cooling as you expect from mint. It still is refreshing but it is also woody and somehow heartier. All I know is that it turned yogurt into a sauce that I have not been able to stop making since the moment I had it. The flavor grows with dried mint so this sauce does well after a rest in the refrigerator.
I started this month in need of inspiration. Feeling a bit ho-hum about food, I wanted something to ignite my passion so it would send me flying into the kitchen again. Of course I also started the month attempting to pack up my kitchen and put it in boxes so that made cooking a bit more difficult. But now we are getting settled and I’m feeling eager to bound into the kitchen. I’ve spent the last month filling my fridge with seasonal produce, plucking fresh berries from my adopted garden and stretching myself to try new things. Caraway on my avocado toast? Yes. Grilled corn finished in a smoked paprika spiced butter? Absolutely. Caramelized Fennel with dried orange peel?! Oh my word, yes. I’m dreaming in food again. Literally, last night I dreamt of my next book idea and I am so excited to starting putting thoughts to paper and see where it will lead.
So much of this inspiration is thanks to my partnership with Frontier Co-op. I’ll be honest I get squirmy and weird when I come here with a sponsored post, afraid of my work being seen as not my own because there is someone else gently nudging the post. But, I needed this nudge. I’m thrilled with what I created as I found myself reaching for the spice cabinet more often than normal and always happy that I did. I hope you all were inspired along with me. I’ve been posting my creations on Instagram all month so you can go check that out there and also check out the #SpiceUpSummer hashtag for more ideas.
*This post was sponsored by Frontier Co-Op but as always, the recipe, words and photos are mine.
Grilled Vegetables with Mint yogurt
Serves 6 to 8 as a side
16 ounces Labneh (or full-fat Greek Yogurt)
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons dried mint
1 garlic clove, minced
Pinch cayenne or red chili pepper flakes
2 eggplant, cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
2 zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
3 red peppers, cut into 1-inch strips
1 bunch scallions, cleaned
2 fennel bulbs, tough core removed and cut into wedges
salt & pepper
Yogurt: Combine the Labneh with the rice wine vinegar, dried mint, garlic, cayenne and a pinch of salt. Taste and adjust seasoning.
The flavor improves dramatically after a few hours or even overnight, in the fridge.
Vegetables: Generously coat the vegetables in olive oil and salt and pepper. Grill until charred in parts and tender.
Feel free to use whatever vegetables are in season and available.
Serve warm or room temperature with plenty of the mint yogurt.