Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: Turkish
Serves: 6 to 8
Even the most veggie-averse kids out there will be tempted to try this dip. In general, kids love dips, and I'm certain that the lemony, luscious flavors of this Cacik will have big-time kid appeal. And if you want to up the ante on veggies even more, serve with an assortment of crunchy vegetables on the side including baby carrots, bell pepper strips, celery sticks, and cucumber wheels. The barley salad on top is "the icing on the cake" and showcases an interesting way to add whole grains to a dip. If you want to skip the salad-topping, by all means, do so. Just stick with the simple Greek yogurt dip portion of the recipe.
  • 12 ounces spinach, stemmed
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 cups plain, whole milk Greek yogurt
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup finely chopped green onions
  • 1 Persian cucumber, split in half, seeded, and cut into small dice or ⅓ of an English cucumber
  • 1½ teaspoons dried mint or spearmint
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint or spearmint
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  • ¼ extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4 romaine lettuce leaves, cut into thin ribbons
  • ⅓ cup pearled barley or bulgur, cooked
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes or Maras peppers, to taste
  • Whole wheat pita bread, cut into triangles for serving
  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon salt and the spinach and cook until the spinach is softened, about 2 minutes. Drain immediately and run cold water over it until cool enough to handle.
  2. Squeeze the water out by picking up small handfuls and squeezing as hard as you can between the palms of your hands. You should end up with ⅓ to ½ cup. Finely chop the spinach.
  3. In a small mixing bowl stir the garlic and the lemon juice until combined. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and let stand for about 5 minutes to lightly pickle the garlic.
  4. Stir in the yogurt and season with 1 ¼ teaspoons salt, and pepper to taste.
  5. Add the spinach, green onions, cucumbers, parsley, fresh mint, dill, dried mint and 2 tablespoons olive oil and stir until everything is coated with the thick yogurt.
  6. Toss the thinly sliced romaine with the cooked barley, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, and salt to taste.
  7. Serve the cacik in a bowl and make a well in the center of it using the back of a spoon. Pour the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil into the well and sprinkle with the red chili flakes. Top with the romaine salad and serve at room temperature or cold with pita bread for dipping. Store covered in the refrigerator up to 3 days.
Recipe by Lizs Healthy Table at