I hadn't made this recipe in eons, because I have several similar cucumber-yogurt-pita recipes that are a little jazzier: this one has seasoned beef, and another--hmm, perhaps I haven't made that one since starting this site--has an accompanying tomato-onion salad. But the thing was, we hadn't been to the farmers' market, so no nice fresh tomatoes for us. And I desperately wanted to make hummus, which, now that I'm no longer living the swingin' bachelor life, apparently does not constitute a meal in itself. Usually I pair hummus with fattoush, but...we had no tomatoes. So, I thought, cucumber salad! I can test the recipe and see whether I still need to keep it around! And it was pretty good, creamy and green with cucumber and herbs--would be especially nice and refreshing on a hot summer day. Granted, we didn't end up eating all the leftovers (I should have made a half recipe, for one thing), but I'm keeping the recipe around. I'm just a sucker for anything I can put in a pita, especially when it's this easy.
Postscript, December 2009: The beef version won out. Turns out I never really want just cucumber-yogurt sauce on its own, so this recipe is officially redundant.
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
3 scallions, including greens, chopped
1/4 cup minced fresh chives
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup plain nonfat yogurt
2 large cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and minced
salt and pepper to taste
1. Combine all the ingredients in a large glass bowl.
2. Chill the salad for 3 hours (you can skip this if you want to eat it right away, though the flavors will blend more with time; be forewarned, it will separate if you let it sit for a while, but giving it a good stir fixes it up again).
3. Serve with pita bread. You could dip the bread in and use it to scoop up the salad, but I prefer to spoon the raita into the pockets of the bread.
Makes: 6 cups (at least 6 servings as a meal; more as a side dish or appetizer)
Time: 20-30 minutes (plus 3 hours chilling time if desired)