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I have no idea if you would ever find this on a dinner table in Turkey.  But, it has those flavors and I think, any Turkish cook might approve.  For me, this is a stand-over-the-sink-and-eat-with-a-spoon-type of condiment.  You can use fresh lemons in this, but, if you have already made Preserved Lemons this “recipe” will help you…you really do want to make these.  They are drop-dead simple, they keep almost forever (in the fridge) and there are so any uses for them.  Recently I  tossed a couple of finely chopped wedges into some chicken soup…it was revelatory.  I think, but I can’t be completely certain, I heard angels singing!

When you use the preserved lemons, cut the pithy part away and discard.  If some of the pulp remains, that’s fine.  Then, drain them well, and chop them up, rather finely.

Recently, for this type of condiment, I’ve been using siggi’s® Icelandic skyr-type yogurt.  It has a nice sharp bite to it and it’s very, very thick.  No need to drain it.  And it doesn’t seem to think out, like other brands, I’ve tried.  When I make these types of sauces, I usually drain Greek-style yogurt, but siggi’s brand, I don’t need to.  If you want a thinner sauce, then you may want to stick with regular, plain Greek-style yogurt.

If you don’t want an in-your-face garlic flavor, you might want to used roasted garlic cloves.  Since The Goddess is pretty certain we have vampires living in the neighborhood, she uses plenty of fresh garlic.  Back at the end of October, there were small vampires showing up at her door!  So, you know…you have to take these precautions!

Choose good quality black olives, not the the canned supermarket variety.  Not a lot of flavor there.  I use the olive bar-type and drain them well.  I used the pitted ones, because I don’t want to mess around pitting them.  Remember, The Goddess is lazy.

So, you’re just going to plop everything, except the olive oil and sumac into a bowl, give it a good stir, cover and chill for at least four hours, but I’ve kept it in the fridge for at least 10 days and it was still absolutely delicious.  When you’re ready to serve, drizzle with some excellently flavored olive oil…use your good stuff for this!  I served it with some Turkish-Flavored Chicken Thighs…very yummy!  Later in the week, I used it, instead of tzatziki, with some falafel…this might be my new go-to for that!

Turkish Black Olive-Preserved Lemon Yogurt Sauce

  • Servings: Makes about 1 cup
  • Difficulty: Easy
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  • 2/3 cup full-fat plain yogurt (I like siggi’s® Icelandic skyr)
  • 2 wedges (1/2) preserved lemon, pulp removed and chopped
  • 1 small clove garlic, grated (see NOTE)
  • 6-8 excellent quality large black pitted olives, well-drained and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh garlic (or regular) chives, snipped
  • 1 teaspoon very finely minced fresh mint (about 3-4 small leaves)
  • 1/2 teaspoon very finely minced fresh oregano (about 2 leaves)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (I use more)
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1-2 tablespoons excellently flavored olive oil
  • Sumac, for garnish

In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients, except the olive oil and sumac.  Stir will; pour into a container and chill for several hours or up to 10 days.  When ready to serve, drizzle with the olive oil and a little dusting of sumac.  Excellent as a condiment with chicken, fish, roasted vegetables, as a spread with falafel…or as a dip for veggies.

NOTE:  If you don’t want a significant garlic flavor, use 2 cloves roasted garlic, and omit the fresh garlic clove.  In a pinch, you may use 1/4-1/2 teaspoon garlic powder.  The number of fresh herb leaves, obviously depends on the size of the leaves.

Turkish Black Olive-Lemon Yogurt Sauce Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2020.  All rights reserved.