Preparation: 10 minutes. Marinate: 1 hour min.
There are variations of Cacik that use ingredients such as cucumber or lettuce. This recipe uses spinach and I chose it because it's one of my favourite meze dishes from my times working in Istanbul. It's generally served as a meze - one of a number of small dishes that are shared as a meal.
- Half a bag of baby leaf spinach
- 2 large cloves of garlic
- Juice of half a lemon
- A glug of olive oil
- 350g plain yoghurt - I used Total
- Chopped mint and/or dill and/or parsley (optional)
- Bring a pan of salted water to the boil. Prepare a large bowl with cold, iced water in it.
- Drop the spinach in the boiling water in batches. After 20 seconds , use a slotted spoon to remove the spinach from the boiling water and plunge it into the iced water.
- Once all of the spinach has been blanched like this, it should be removed from the iced water and squeezed as hard as possible to extract as much liquid as possible. You're aiming for a spongy ball of spinach that won't dilute the yoghurt.
- Roughly chop the spinach and set aside.
- Grind the garlic to a paste in a pestle and mortar, using salt as an abrasive.
- Put the garlic puree, lemon juice and olive oil in a bowl and stir to combine before adding the yoghurt and stirring again.
- Add the chopped spinach and stir.
- Optionally, add chopped mint and/or dill and/or parsley. I used mint & parsley in mine.
- Cover and chill in the fridge for at least an hour before serving.