The perfect refresh is only three ingredients away: cucumbers, yogurt, and mint. There are so many different ways you can combine these ingredients to create totally refreshing dishes for all occasions. From the Middle East, to India, to Greece and beyond – so many different world cuisines embrace this powerful flavor trio. That’s why we’re looking at what makes these ingredients work so well together, plus a few favorite cucumber recipes.
The pairing of fresh cucumbers with yogurt and mint is a universal love affair found in cuisines all around the world. In Greece you find tzatziki, a favorite dip used for snacking or drizzled on gyros. In the Middle East, there’s Khyar Bi Laban, or Cucumber Yogurt Salad, and in India you have Cucumber Raita. Everyone loves this mix of fresh flavors!
If you’ve ever wondered, “What goes well with cucumbers?” the answer is undoubtedly yogurt and mint.
So, what is it about these three ingredients that, when combined, creates such a powerful flavor that has inspired all these different dishes in different regions of the world?
In a word: freshness.
If you’ve ever grown mint in your backyard garden, you know that it can be added to anything for a lovely light and bright taste. It simply tastes like summer!
The same can be said with fresh greenhouse grown cucumbers of all sizes: they instantly add that amazing summer freshness to every dish.
When it comes to cucumbers, you have a few choices that suit certain recipes and snacking occasions differently.
Long English Cucumbers are large, seedless slicing cucumbers that offer a lot of variety. You can slice and dice them or even spiralize and make them into long ribbons.
Mini Cucumbers make simple salads easy work: they come in the perfect medium size for slicing while still getting a great crunchiness in every bite!
The next smallest cuke is great for dipping, snacks and apps: Poco Bites® Cocktail Cucumbers.
Last but not least, are the super small Uno Bites™ Nano Cucumbers. These one-bite cukes are made for snacking by the handful but can be used in a ton of delicious recipes that need extra crisp freshness!
As you can see, there’s a cucumber for every meal or snack you can imagine. If you thought all cukes are the same – think again!
Four recipes show off the many ways these different sized cucumbers can combine with mint and yogurt to make unique and flavorful dishes.
All you need to make this Cucumber Yogurt Salad is Uno Bites™ Nano Cucumbers, plain yogurt, dry mint, minced garlic, and salt. Chop the cucumbers into tiny pieces and whisk together with all the other ingredients. Garnish with fresh mint and olive oil for a gorgeous authentic presentation.
This is the perfect salad for a warm day on the patio. You can also keep some extra Uno Bites™ around for dipping, making it a great option for a quick summer appetizer.
Refresh all your backyard barbecue guests with these personal sized glasses. All you need to do is mix yogurt, cumin powder, paprika, sugar and salt. Then, dice Mini Cucumbers and chop fresh mint leaves to whisk in before pouring into shot glasses. Then, you can garnish these eye-popping appetizers with sliced cucumber and Sweet Bell Peppers.
This powerful flavor combination of cucumbers, yogurt and mint can also be used to enhance the flavors of your favorite meats. Many people will use a mixture of these three ingredients to marinade chicken or lamb before grilling because the yogurt helps to tenderize the meat.
If you want to try something a bit different with a cheesier texture and tangy flavor, you can actually make what’s called a labneh, a Middle Eastern favorite for dipping with pita chips or fresh veggies. Traditionally, you heat up yogurt and strain it with cheesecloth before mixing it with cucumber, mint, zaatar seasoning and more. Jenan Zammar likes to make a big batch to enjoy with breakfast, but she uses a process that doesn’t require heat; learn about her process by clicking here.
One of the most popular ways to enjoy fresh cucumber flavor is on gyros with a tzatziki sauce like Mary Harp’s homemade Roast Beef Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce.
When you first look at Mary’s recipe, you might think to yourself” “Fifteen minutes? Really?” You bet! Next time you make a nice Sunday roast beef dinner, save the roast beef for lunch the next day!
To make the tzatziki, all you have to do is grate Mini Cucumbers and mix with yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, fresh mint, and salt. Then, simply reheat your roast beef, pile it on a pita wrap, and top it with your tzatziki, some slices of Tomatoes on-the-Vine, and feta cheese.
As you can see, there are so many different dishes you can make with these three fresh tasting ingredients. Refresh your summer and get experimenting in the kitchen with these delicious recipes.
If you want to get inspired by some of our favorite cucumber recipes, click here.
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