On weekdays, when we come home and decide to open a bottle of wine, we tend to have crackers and cheese to go with it. Although we like the cheese, we were thinking we should have something (at least slightly) healthier. So one weekend, my wife picked up several different kinds of yogurt including plain Greek or strained yogurt, which is getting very popular in the U.S. She found a dip recipe on the inner seal and made it. The one shown here is based on that initial success, (this is actually the second attempt using a different brand of Greek yogurt). This one had a more appropriate i.e. thicker consistency especially for use as a dip compared to the first one*. Instead of commercial Greek yogurt, you could strain regular yogurt in a cheese cloth in the refrigerator over night.
*According to America's test kitchen, some "Greek" yogurts are not even strained but other thickeners are added. Certainly we experienced quite a difference between the two brands we tasted. The Test kitchen also taste tested non-fat varieties.
It is rather simple to make this. We just mixed in good fruity olive oil, lemon juice, chopped fresh mint, salt and pepper; all to taste. We then added crumbled feta cheese (We try not to overdo it since it will defeat the purpose of having a healthier snack).
This time we added one cooked Italian eggplant (optional). Instead of skinning, cubing and roasting with olive oil as suggested in the recipe, we quickly microwaved it with the skin pierced multiple times to prevent an "explosion". (Quick preparation was in order, since we were making this after we came home from work). We removed the skin and cut up the meat into small pieces and mixed it in.
The recipe also called for adding chick peas which we did in the first attempt but we omitted it this time since it did not add much and the chickpeas make it difficult to scope up the dip with vegetable sticks.
If the dip tastes too sour, you could add honey (we added honey in the first version but we didn't need it in the current version). The dip will improve if you leave it in a fridge overnight. I served this garnished with a bit more olive oil and mint leaves accompanied by carrot, cucumber and celery sticks. If you have thin wedges of tomatoes, they also work.
As a dip, on its own, this is surprisingly good with a nice fresh minty note and good creamy texture. We also felt good eating all the veggies. The dip however, did not go well with the red wine we were having. The wine was Summit Lake Cabernet Sauvigon 2003 from Howell Mountain district in Napa. This is an interesting wine but more in the old world style. The color of the wine had a brownish hue which is more than the vintage of this wine would suggest. In any case, the dip by itself was good, the wine by itself not bad, together--not a great pairing.