We have been having a heatwave here in Portland. It has been in the 100’s everyday this week – 107 yesterday. I am not a fan of this kind of heat and I certainly don’t want to cook when it’s so hot outside. My friend Kyle was telling me about a “smorgasbord” her family has for dinner that sounded really fun. Basically, she just serves a bunch of different foods around the table and everyone just digs in. I recently saw a tasty Greek post on my friend Jason’s blog and it inspired me to do a Greek smorgasbord – it was so delicious. I made some tzatziki sauce and marinated onions but other than that it was all food we had in the fridge and cupboards. We sat around a little table in our living room and served ourselves. The kids loved having the freedom to eat what THEY wanted. We had such a nice time sitting on the floor, eating dinner and talking about our day. It was a light and easy dinner that required no oven, grill or stove – perfect for a hot day. I can’t wait to do another Smorgasbord soon. Thanks for the great idea Kyle and thanks for the inspiration Jason.
Tzatziki Sauce :
- 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 8 oz of Greek plain yogurt (I used non fat)
- 1/2 lemon, juice and zest
- 1 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste
Peel the cucumber and cut it in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, remove all the seeds from both halves. Dice into small pieces then place in a strainer. Sprinkle 1/2 tsp sea salt over the cucumber and set the strainer in a bowl for 30 minutes. The salt will draw out the moisture in the cucumber. Pat cucumber dry with a paper towel.
Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until well blended. Let sauce sit in the refrigerator for at least one hour to let flavors mingle.
Note: If you want really thick sauce, strain yogurt for several hours to remove the liquid and thicken the yogurt. Place two coffee filters in a strainer, which is placed in a bowl. Add the yogurt and let sit for two hours letting the liquid drain.
Marinated Red Onions:
- 1/2 large red onion, sliced very thin
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1 tsp white sugar
- Dash of red pepper flakes (more if you want them spicy)
- Sea salt, to taste
Combine the vinegar, oil, sugar, red pepper flakes and sea salt in a bowl then mix thoroughly. Add the sliced onion, cover with plastic wrap and let it marinate in the refrigerator, stirring occasionally for at least 45 minutes.
- Sesame pita bread, cut into triangles
- Rice crackers
- Spicy Hummus
- Mediterranean Hummus
- Cucumber, seeded and sliced
- Grape tomatoes
- Kalamata olives
- Feta cheese
- Pepper rings
Make sure to prepare the tzatziki sauce and marinated red onions at least an hour prior to eating so the flavors have time to mingle. Once you are ready to eat, arrange all the food, sauces, crackers, bread, veggies and fruit on your serving tray. Place on a small table, sit on the floor and enjoy!
Click here for a printable version of this recipe – For the Love of Cooking.net