Jeff & Linda's Kitchen of Diversity

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Jajik with Greens -- Southeastern Turkey


A common dressing -- served with many types of meals from the eastern Mediterranean through India -- is made from yogurt mixed with various vegetables, garlic and herbs.  Called 'tzatziki' in Greece and 'raita' in India, it is termed 'jajik' in Turkey.  In this recipe -- modified from one collected by Paula Wolfert from southeastern Turkey -- we are adding chopped, cooked greens as well as garlic and other seasonings to the yogurt.  It makes a wonderful accompaniment to the greens-stuffed bread of the previous entry.  Makes at least 4 servings


2 ounces stemmed arugula, wild mustard greens, or kale

3 ounces stemmed Swiss Chard

1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste

32 oz plain yogurt, drained for at least 4 hours to remove excess water

4 cloves garlic, crushed

1 teaspoon dried oregano

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes


Wash greens and let drain.  Bring a pot of water to a boil, add in 1 teaspoon salt and the arugula/mustard/kale greens, and cook for 5 minutes.  Add in chard, and continue cooking another 5 minutes.  Drain greens, squeeze out the excess water, and finely chop.  You should have about ½ cup of cooked greens. 

Warm olive oil in a skillet, and stir in red pepper flakes.  Allow to gently simmer for about a minute, remove from heat, and strain out the pepper flakes, leaving behind the bright-red oil.

Place drained yogurt in a bowl and thoroughly mix in the garlic and oregano.  Fold in the cooked greens, and dress with the infused olive oil.  Let stand at least 30 minutes before serving. 

Besides growing your own greens, please consider using Wild Zaatar Oregano, Syrian Goat Horn peppers, and an assertive artichoke garlic like Turkish.

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