Cucumber and yogurt salad is part of the repertoire in every yogurt-eating country, but for me the star recipe is this one. I love the burst of sweetness from the raisins, the crunch of walnuts, the coolness of mint. The salad complements grilled lamb, or you could serve it as part of a meze assortment with flatbread. I like to use the crisp, thin-skinned, nearly seedless Persian cucumbers—also called Mediterranean cucumbers—that are about six inches long.
Oil-packed herbed cheeses are lovely for summer salads. You’ve seen those jars and tubs in stores. But here’s a secret: you can make your own in five minutes for a lot less money. I bought a log of fresh goat cheese, sliced it into rounds, then packed the rounds in a jar with extra virgin olive oil and seasonings. Two weeks later, I warmed a couple of slices in the oven on a bed of garden vegetables. What a delicious summer lunch.
Greek salad dip…brilliant. Two of everyone’s favorite foods—hummus and Greek salad—come together on one plate. Wish I’d thought of it. With cucumbers, tomatoes and basil in their glory right now, and good weather luring us outdoors, this layered dip is the perfect start to a summer evening. Use store-bought hummus and pita chips to keep it simple or make your own.