Go Greek morning, noon and night

Grace Kerfoot

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There’s nothing quite like Greek yogurt. It’s creamy, tangy, nutritious, relatively affordable and an all around wonderful food to eat.

Unfortunately, most Greek yogurt gets breakfast-zoned. We use it to make healthier smoothies and baked goods and — if you are like me — as a vessel to consume massive amounts of granola. However, Greek yogurt has far greater culinary potential.

I like to think of Greek yogurt as fancy sour cream, especially the whole milk kind. It’s got all the velvety goodness of cream, but with the added bonus of extra protein and kitchen versatility. Here are some ways that you can better use your Greek yogurt at breakfast, lunch and dinner.

· Dollop a spoonful on just about anything: From giant burritos to bowls of soup, Greek yogurt will deliver that final punch of creamy tang that your taste buds desire. If you want to go a sweeter direction, mix your Greek Yogurt with honey or maple syrup and plop it on a stack of pancakes or French toast.

· Make a dip: Whisk it with a little bit of lemon, sea salt and tahini and serve with grilled pita bread or roasted vegetables.

· Sauce it up: Greek yogurt makes for an excellent addition to most sauces — aside from tomato sauce, which would just be weird. Keep in mind that at high temperatures it will curdle, so use it during the final minutes of cooking.

For a fun pasta sauce alternative, see the recipe below.

SPRING PAPPARDELLE WITH YOGURT SAUCE AND PARSLEY VINAIGRETTE

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Food columnist Grace Kerfoot outlines a recipe for spring pappardelle with Greek yogurt sauce and parsley vinaigrette. Photo credit: Grace Kerfoot


Despite the fancy name, this recipe is simple and easy. Any long pasta, like fettuccine, can be substituted for pappardelle, and all of the produce is in season and available at the farmers market.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Serves: 2

For the pasta

  • 8 oz. papparadelle (or other long pasta)
  • 1 large bulb of fennel, sliced, plus a handful of the fronds chopped and reserved for garnish
  • 1 red spring onion, including the green leafy stem, chopped
  • 1/3 cup full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp of butter

For the vinaigrette

  • 1/3 cup parsley, minced
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Method

To make the vinaigrette:

Whisk all the ingredients together and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

To make the pasta:

Measure the Greek yogurt into a large bowl and also set aside.

Fill a large pot with water and salt it heavily (we are talking 1-2 tbsp of salt here). Let it come to a rolling boil.

Meanwhile, melt the butter over medium-high heat in a large skillet, preferably cast iron. Add the chopped fennel and onion and leave them, undisturbed, in the pan for about four minutes. After they turn golden and crispy, continue to cook, stirring occasionally for another 20-25 minutes, or until the fennel and onions are well caramelized.

Once the water is boiling, add the pasta and cook according to the directions. While the pasta is cooking (don’t forget to push your fennel and onions around once in a while) reserve a ladle full of the pasta water (about 1/4 cup). Add the pasta water to the Greek yogurt, a little at a time until you reach your desired sauce consistency. Whisk until the sauce is smooth.

When the pasta is done cooking, drain it and toss with the yogurt sauce. Top the pasta with the fennel and onions and a tablespoon or two of the vinaigrette.

Grace Kerfoot can be reached at [email protected] or @gracekerf on Twitter.

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