Yogurt is delicious, and we think its totally under-utilized. Creamy yogurt is a delicious alternative to heavy butter and cream, and lends tang, richness and healthy probiotics anywhere you use it. Our new favorite cookbook is Janet Fletcher's Yogurt, which has totally changed our thoughts on it. You'll never think of yogurt for just granola again— there are dozens of incredible recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Inspired by the juicy bulgur salads
of the Mediterranean and Middle East, this chopped summer vegetable salad
features farro. Known as emmer in English, farro (the Italian word) is
a type of wheat with a particularly nutty taste and pleasing chewiness. The
cooked grains soak up the dressing without becoming sticky or soft, and they
give this salad enough heft to serve for lunch. With farro's growing
popularity, markets now carry several types. Look for lightly pearled farro (semi-perlato on Italian brands), which you can recognize by the slightly abraded
appearance of the exterior, the bran layer. Whole, unpearled farro takes
much longer to cook and doesn't absorb the dressing as well.
RECIPE: Chopped Summer Vegetable Salad with Farro, Yogurt & Za'atar
1 ⁄ 2 cup
For Garlic Vinaigrette
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar, plus more if needed
1 teaspoon Thai or Vietnamese fish sauce
1 clove garlic, finely minced (see note, page 88)
Kosher or sea salt
1 large clove garlic, grated or finely minced (see note, page
1 tablespoon za'atar (a Middle
Eastern spice blend)
1⁄2pound cucumbers, preferably Persian, Japanese, or hothouse
1⁄2cup thinly sliced green onions, white and pale green parts only
1⁄2cup loosely packed whole cilantro leaves (no stems)
2 to 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh mint
1 large handful small arugula, watercress, or purslane leaves
(no thick stems)
1⁄2pound ripe but firm tomatoes, cut into1⁄3-inch dice
1⁄2large ripe but firm avocado, cut into1⁄3-inch dice
Bring 3 cups of salted water to a boil in a small saucepan
over high heat. Add thefarroand reduce the heat to medium; skim off
any surface foam. Cover partially, adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer,
and cook until thefarrois al dente—fully cooked but still firm to the
tooth—about 30 minutes. Drain well in a sieve, and then transfer to a large
To make the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the
olive oil, vinegar, fish sauce, garlic, and salt to taste.
Spoon about 11 ⁄ 2 tablespoons dressing over thefarro,
enough to coat it lightly, and toss well with a fork. Taste and add more salt
or a splash of vinegar if needed.
In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, garlic, and
salt to taste. Make a bed of yogurt sauce on a large platter, using it all.
Sprinkle theza'atarover the yogurt.
If the cucumbers have a thick or waxed skin, peel them; if
not, then leave unpeeled. Halve the cucumbers lengthwise. If they have large
seeds, scrape out the seeds with a small spoon. If the seeds are small, no need
to remove. Cut the cucumber into 1 ⁄ 3-inch dice and add to thefarroalong
with the green onions, cilantro, and mint. Add more dressing and toss gently to
mix. Add the arugula, tomatoes, and avocado. Drizzle with the remainder of the
dressing and toss gently to avoid breaking up the tomatoes and avocado. Taste
for salt and vinegar.
Using your hands, mound thefarrosalad
on top of the yogurt, leaving a visible border of yogurt. Serve immediately.
Grating versus Mincing Garlic: I typically use a Microplane‚ a rasp-style grater
available at kitchenware stores‚ when adding garlic to yogurt. You can
also mince the garlic finely with a knife‚ but I find that grated garlic
infuses the yogurt better. It practically dissolves‚ so you don't
perceive any little bits of garlic in the yogurt. However‚ for a dish
with sautéed garlic‚ such as Orzo with Spicy Lamb‚ Chickpeas‚ &
Yogurt (page 72)‚ I prefer to mince it‚ as grated garlic produces
too strong a flavor.
Reprinted with permission from Yogurt, by
Janet Fletcher, copyright 2015. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of
Penguin Random House LLC.