Around this time of year my friends in Canada and northern US are suffering from ‘February Blues’. A syndrome caused by too much winter already and no end in sight. The lucky ones escape to the sunny Caribbean or for a week or two.
We were fortunate in Paris this year that winter was milder and much sunnier than usual. It is sunny and 16°C as I am writing this. No February Blues here! It is the Parisian school holiday and families have left Paris for the Alps or Pyrenees to ski or for a sunny break in Spain or North Africa.
As a compromise, I suggest planning a Greek menu to take you virtually to an exotic location. Think of the white buildings, blue skies and Mediterranean Sea. Make a large Greek Salad of iceberg lettuce, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, Kalamata olives, red onion and crumbled Feta cheese to serve with souvlakia (lamb or chicken brochettes) or lamb burgers. Serve Tzatziki and pita bread as the accompaniments.
Makes 625 mL (2-1/2 cups)
500 mL (2 cups) plain yogurt
1 seedless cucumber, peeled and finely diced
30 mL (2 Tbsp) freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
30 mL (2 Tbsp) olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Spoon yogurt into a fine sieve lined with cheesecloth or paper towel; let drain for 2 hours. Place cucumber in large colander and let drain for 10 minutes; gently squeeze out the excess moisture.
Combine yogurt, cucumber, lemon juice and garlic in a small bowl. Whisk in olive oil and add pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours to allow flavours to blend.