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Posted on Mar 31, 2016 |

Rita’s Recipe: Yogurt Dip with Cilantro and Mint; Tzatziki Sauce

Rita’s Recipe: Yogurt Dip with Cilantro and Mint; Tzatziki Sauce

Cilantro leaves.

Cilantro leaves.

About Cilantro/Coriander

Coriander is referenced several times in the Old Testament.   One of the most recognized is: Exodus 16:31….”And the food became known as manna – meaning  “What is it?”; it was white like coriander seed and flat and tasted like honey bread.

Cilantro comes from the Coriander seed. The leaves are called cilantro and the seed is called Coriander. They can’t be used interchangeably though. Cilantro has a citrusy taste to my palate. Now coriander, the seed, has a lemony flavor.  Here are two excellent recipes for that famous cucumber yogurt dip.

Yogurt Dip with Cilantro and Mint

Mix together:

  • 2 cups plain yogurt
  • ½ English cucumber, diced finely and water all squeezed out with a towel
  • Chopped mint to taste
  • Sprig or two cilantro, leaves only, chopped
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • Sea Salt and Cayenne Pepper to taste

Serve with crackers, flat bread, pita, etc. or use as a spread instead of mayo.


Tzatziki Sauce

  • 1 English cucumber, peeled, seeded, shredded
  • Salt
  • 1 ½ cups plain homemade or  Greek yogurt (if using homemade, drain overnight to make it thicker)
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ¼ cup fresh chopped mint
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

Place cucumber in a strainer over a bowl and sprinkle with salt.   Let drain for 15 minutes.  Squeeze cucumber to remove water.

In a small bowl, add yogurt and cucumber.  Stir in garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and mint.  Season with salt to taste.

Rita Heikenfeld.

Rita Heikenfeld.

Rita Nader Heikenfeld writes a weekly syndicated column and blog for the Community Press, appears every Thursday on the Son Rise Morning Show, and is the author of several cookbooks. An adjunct professor at the University of Cincinnati, she is Certified Culinary Professional and Certified Modern Herbalist,  the Culinary Professional for Jungle Jim’s Eastgate, and a media personality with a cable show and YouTube videos. In 2014 she was inducted into the Escoffier Hall of Fame. She lives “in the sticks” outside Batavia, Ohio with her family, where they heat with wood, raise chickens for eggs, and grow their own produce and herbs. You’ll find all her previous recipes featured on The Catholic Beat here.

Rita’s Bible Foods segment airs on the Son Rise Morning Show every Thursday morning at 7:22 am (rebroadcast Friday at 6:02 am). Tune in to hear her discuss the history behind each recipe and the scripture verses that inspired it. And of course, for cooking tips!

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