Top | A Mediterranean Feast

Açili Esme (Spicy Turkish-Style Yogurt)

(recipe, Clifford A. Wright)

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  1. 1 tsp. salt
  2. 4 fresh garlic cloves, peeled
  3. ¾ cup high-quality, full-fat yogurt
  4. 6 Tbsp. strained yogurt, or labna (see Note, below)
  5. ½ tsp. cayenne pepper
  6. 1 tsp. chopped dill weed
  7. Extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Pound the salt and garlic together in a mortar until mushy.
  2. Blend it with the yogurt, labna, cayenne, and dill. Turn it into a bowl and swirl olive oil over the surface.


Culinate editor's note: To strain yogurt, measure it into a small strainer set over a bowl and leave it for three or more hours; discard the strained liquid. Alternatively, for this recipe you could use Greek-style yogurt or even sour cream.