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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Turkish Yogurt and Spinach Dip

Known in Turkey as caçik, this garlicky mixture of green vegetables, fresh herbs and yogurt can be served as a salad or as a dip with pita and raw vegetables. Traditionally, caçik is made with a number of vegetables, including cucumbers, cabbage and beets.

Featured in: Spinach: Nutrition In A Bag. 
Time 20 minutes
Yield About 2 cups

1 6-ounce bag baby spinach [168 g]
2 plump garlic cloves, halved, green shoots removed
Salt, preferably kosher salt, to taste
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (more to taste)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
½ cup finely chopped parsley [14 g]
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint, or 1 teaspoon dried mint
2 to 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cups thickened yogurt or thick Greek style yogurt [490 g]
1 bunch scallions, chopped (optional)


1. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Fill a bowl with ice water. When the water comes to a boil, add the spinach and blanch for 10 to 20 seconds. Transfer to the ice water, cool for a minute, then drain and squeeze dry. Chop coarsely.

2. Place the garlic in a mortar and pestle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and mash to a paste (alternatively, finely mince). Combine with the lemon juice and olive oil, and let stand for 10 minutes. Stir in the yogurt.

3. In a medium bowl, combine the chopped spinach, dill, parsley and mint. Stir in the yogurt and garlic mixture, and the optional scallions. Add freshly ground pepper to taste and more salt if desired. Serve with bread, pita or raw vegetables.

Advance preparation: You can blanch the spinach up to three days ahead of preparing the dish. The dip will keep for a few days in the refrigerator, but it will become more pungent and the colors of the spinach and herbs will darken.

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