Lately, I’ve been really thinking about my childhood.  I don’t know why.  Maybe it’s because I am of “a certain age” now and time just seems to be flying.  Now that my children are at ages that I completely identify with, I am reminiscing about what I was doing at their ages (btw, my son is 12 and my daughter is 10 – already!)

Some of my fondest memories are of my grandmother’s cooking.  “Gram”, as my two sisters and I called her, was a natural in the kitchen.  Although, she didn’t have a big one, she used every inch of her kitchen to her culinary heart’s content.  From roasted chicken, turkeys, ducks, hams and lambs, she fit them into her tiny oven and basted and tended to them for hours.  She also made the BEST mashed and roasted potatoes, sweet potato casserole and stuffing on the planet!

In honor of my grandmother today and the Recipe Redux theme to show us your favorite family recipes for springtime celebrations, I am going to recreate one of her spring dishes: creamy sliced cucumbers, with a healthy twist version, which I am calling Smoky Tzatziki Topped Cucumbers.  This dish tastes like spring to me.

I love cucumbers.  For this dish, I am using an English cucumber as the flavor is delicate and it’s seedless.  Wash, peel it and thinly slice it.

cukes

Since I am using the cucumbers as a bed for the tzatziki sauce, I cut the cucumber a little thicker, but if you want to dress the cucumbers in the sauce, you can cut them paper thin with a mandoline slicer.  Cucumbers are packed with water and are very low in calories, plus they contain anti-oxidants like vitamins A and C, as well as betacarotene.

lemon yogurt

Simple squeeze a quarter of a lemon into plain yogurt and mix.  The lemon juice complements the already sour flavor of the plain yogurt.  With a hint of fresh dill added to the mix, the tzatziki sauce is on its way!  I love fresh dill – it just smells like spring in the air.

dill

What's your favorite springtime family #recipe? Here's one of mine: Tzatziki Cucumbers… Click To Tweet

Yogurtsauce

With a drizzle of EVOO, this yogurt sauce is taken to a new level.  The subtle flavor of the oil brings out the elegance of this sauce; coupled with crisp, refreshing cucumbers it makes for a light and airy appetizer or side dish.  I had to top with smoked paprika as Gram would be happy that some sort of paprika made it in (she used plain paprika a lot!)

Cukesandyogurtsauce

Serves 6 (5 topped cucumbers each)

Instructions

1 large English cucumber, peeled and sliced thinly

6 ounces plain Greek-style yogurt

Freshly squeezed juice from 1/4 of a large lemon

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

2 Tablespoons fresh dill, chopped

Dash of sea salt

A few sprinkles of smoked paprika, optional 

Directions

Spread the cucumber slices on a large platter.

In a medium bowl, add the yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, dill and salt.  Mix together gently until combined.

Dollop a teaspoon of yogurt sauce on top of each cucumber slice.  Sprinkle with paprika.  Serve before the meal as an appetizer or as part of the meal immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.

Enjoy eating simply,

XOXO,

Vicki

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