January 9, 2015 | Posted by Christine Sanchez
If you're only eating yogurt with honey and fruit, you're missing out! Savory yogurt is popular in many cultures that have yogurt as part of their cuisine. In Turkey, cilbir is a savory breakfast involving yogurt and a poached egg doused with paprika or chile butter. In India, yogurt is used in multiple savory ways: added to curries, as a marinade for meat, sometimes acting as a cooling agent for all the lively, hot spices, other times adding a richness to round out a dish. You'll find strained yogurt, labneh, throughout the Middle East, often stirred with garlic or drizzled with olive oil and za'atar.
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But my love of savory yogurt bowls doesn't come from cultural exploration -- rather, as a single working mom, it was the easiest way to turn assorted leftovers and mishmash from the fridge into something interesting after my son went to sleep! It was quick and it was healthy, two things that resonate with me. It's no wonder that I love them so much -- they're delicious, nutritious, clean meals on the fly.
I use the yogurt as a centerpiece that helps to bring a variety of tasty nibbles together in one little bowl. I always have something that brings freshness and crunch, like cucumber, celery or shaved fennel. There's always something a bit hearty like chickpeas, lentils or quinoa, and something that feels more lively and assertive, whether bright or sweet, pickled or spiced.
The best combinations have components dressed in different ways, using anything from lemon juice and tahini to interesting spices or vinegars. I always have fresh herbs on hand to highlight the savory flavors and add lots of freshness. An element of crunch for garnish tops things off things perfectly, whether it's a sprinkle of toasted nuts or seeds or my latest obsession: roasted, salted fennel seeds.
Over this last year, I have made many a savory yogurt bowl and some have really surprised me with their deliciousness. This one's my current go-to, and an all-time favorite. Give it a try!