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May 8, 2013

5-star cucumber condiment

Dip pairs with pita chips, falafel, meats

Andy Varela, a Salem farmer and chef, prepares a cucumber yogurt dip that is delicious on a variety of foods.

Varela prepares this cucumber yogurt sauce or dip specifically for his fresh falafel cakes, which are perfect for lunches and snacks.

The dip is truly simple to prepare. First, deseed and dice up cucumbers into bite-size pieces, and mix it with yogurt, cumin, salt and garnish with a few wedges of orange. Before you know it you have a 5-star condiment for your next meal.

There are a variety of cucumber yogurt dips and sauces.

One variation is to add mint leaves, which freshens up the flavor, as well as adding another hint of green to the sauce. This yogurt dip is great with pita chips or on chicken dishes.

Another variation is to use Greek yogurt. This produces a condiment called tzatziki (pronounced tsa-zee-key). A traditional tzatziki recipe generally calls for garlic as well, and is delicious when paired with dark meats.

Any variation you choose is bound be a great treat for your friends and family.

Cucumber Yogurt Dip


1/2 English cucumber

1 1/2 cups yogurt

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cumin

5 small orange slices


1. Rinse the cucumber before preparation to remove any excess dirt.

2. Using a chef’s knife, cut the cucumber in half to make two short halves.

3. Cut the halves lengthwise, exposing the seeds in the middle.

4. Slice these lengths in half again, creating wedges.

5. Using the knife, remove the seeds from the cucumber and dispose them.

6. Slice the quartered cucumber in matchstick shape cuts, 1/4- to 1/2-inch thick.

7. Dice the matchstick slices into bite-size pieces, and place them in a bowl.

8. Add the yogurt, cumin, salt, and stir together until well incorporated.

9. Garnish with orange wedges and serve.


Recipe courtesy of Andy Varela, Maitland Mountain Farms, 2013.

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