Los Angeles actor Naz Deravian, creator of the food blog Bottom of the Pot, serves this cooling, delicate yogurt with barberry rice as part of a festive dinner for Yalda, the Persian winter solstice celebration. If you like, add raisins, chopped walnuts, dill, minced garlic or green onions, or chopped chives to the yogurt.
2 cups plain, whole-milk yogurt*
1 scant tsp. sea salt
1 tablespoon dried mint, rubbed between your palms to release flavor and fragrance
Scant 1/2 tsp. ground dried rose petals, plus more for garnish (optional)*
Small pinch of pepper
1 1/4 cups shredded peeled English cucumber or unpeeled Persian cucumber (with juices)
Fresh mint leaves for topping
How to Make It
Mix all ingredients in a bowl except fresh mint. Adjust seasonings to taste. Top with fresh mint leaves, and, if you like, a sprinkle of ground dried rose petals.
Make ahead: Up to 3 days, covered and chilled (top with fresh mint and dried rose just before serving).
*If your cucumber is especially juicy, replace a few spoonfuls of the yogurt with thicker Greek yogurt. Find dried rose petals at Middle Eastern markets, Latino markets, spice shops, or online. Grind to a powder in a spice grinder before use.
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