KITCHEN GARDEN : Tzatziki Toasts with Heirloom Tomatoes

In the deep heat of summer, I like to wake up and sit with my coffee in an un-air-conditioned house. I open the windows to hear the cicadas humming and the sprinkler watering the garden. The city has yet to stir. If it’s not too unbearable yet, I go out into the yard, toting the cat and my hot, too hot coffee. We sit under the umbrella and bake slowly as the sun rises over the trees. This is the moment when buttery, mustard-laced toast with the cool of yogurt-y, dilled cucumbers and the freshness of sliced, peppered Brandywines are the only, only savory summer thirst quencher I’m interested in. Paired alongside eggs prepared to your liking, settle in for a good sweat – while blessedly, internally impervious to the dog days of summer.


TZAZATKI TOASTS WITH HEIRLOOM TOMATOES spread serves 4-6

Spread can be made in advance and refrigerated.

Time to Prepare : 20 minutes. Makes one cup of spread.

  • Half of a cucumber or two Persian cucumbers, deseeded (see below for more info) and minced (approx 1 cup)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 T fresh dill, minced (plus 1 T more for plating)
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1/2 c whole milk greek yogurt
  • 1/4 c feta, crumbled or minced from a block
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • generous grinds of black pepper

For Serving

  • 2-4 heirloom tomatoes
  • dijon mustard
  • salted butter
  • country white bread, sliced
  • crisp bacon (optional, not optional)
  • eggs, prepared your favorite way (optional)

If serving with bacon, you can cook the bacon while preparing the Tzazatki sauce.

Leaving the skin on, quarter lengthwise and deseed your cucumber (this keeps the sauce from getting watery). Then mince and add to a small mixing bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients through the black pepper and combine thoroughly.

Lightly toast your bread and then spread a thin layer of butter and mustard, followed the tzazatki sauce. (Next : add bacon.) Top with sliced heirloom tomato.  Grind some black pepper over top and plate with additional minced dill garnish, if desired.

 

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