As temperatures climb, menus are shifting to grilled protein, pilaf, vegetables and an array of wonderful mezze/Armenian appetizers. I suggest adding this wonderful summer salad to the menu: jajukh, Armenian cucumber yogurt salad. This is a cool refreshing dish that takes only five minutes to prepare. Even this Dandeegeen has mastered it.
The combination of yogurt and cucumbers is a perfect blend of a smooth and creamy texture with a little crunch. Don’t forget the fresh mint garnish; bonus points if it’s from your backyard garden. Some people like dill as well. Personally, I do not, but you can experiment if you’d like. Jajukh is not to be confused with Greek Tzatziki which is thicker and acts more like a dip. Jajukh is a little smoother. Of course when making the combination you can add more or less water to either thin or thicken your yogurt base. It’s a preference. I prefer it a little thicker, and I like my cucumbers chopped small. Some prefer to grate the cucumbers thin. It’s up to you.
During the hot summer months, a nice refreshing cold Jajukh is a great way to stay cool and provides a healthy dose of dairy, vegetable and some live cultures to boot. This is a Dandeegeen 101 recipe that anyone can master, even the worst of cooks. Try it at your next weekend cookout. You can’t go wrong. This is the recipe I used.
2 cups Greek yogurt
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 medium cucumbers, peeled and grated, and squeezed dry with paper towels or chopped (This is a personal preference.)
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint for garnish
1/2 tsp salt
Water (For yogurt thickness preference)
- Combine all ingredients in a serving bowl, except for mint. Cover and refrigerate at least an hour or overnight for flavors to mingle. If left to sit overnight, the liquids will separate. Just stir to combine again.
- Garnish with fresh mint. Serve with pita chips or lavash bread.