Mediterranean Parfait with Greek Yogurt
I was watching Tony Bourdain of “No Reservations” on the Travel Channel do a show in Greece. He ate some Greek yogurt in a simple dish with a little honey and walnuts. He almost swooned.
I discovered Greek yogurt last year and thought of it as a healthy substitute for sour cream and that’s it. Look at the picture of the bowl of Turkey Chili from earlier this week; You’ll see a dollop of Greek yogurt on top to cool down the heat.
A few years ago I bought eight beautiful parfait glasses, or, they can be used as water goblets. The first couple years I barely used them.
Then I began experimenting with layering different elements in the glasses to create parfaits. The glasses are a little too large for a parfait with a lot of rich ingredients. They’re perfect if you’re serving something light like mixed fresh berries with a dollop of yogurt or whipped cream on top.
I used the inspiration from the TV show with Bourdain – but wanted to ramp up the Mediterranean flavors even more. I experimented with adding chopped Medjool dates to the list of ingredients. They’re wonderful – but it means cutting back a bit on the amount of honey because dates add a lot of sweetness.
Since this parfait is quite rich I decided to use my wine glasses instead of the parfait glasses. The bowl is smaller and all the ingredients are contained in a more compact space.
The secret of gorgeous and delicious parfaits is layering. Parfaits are much more about assembly and less about complicated preparation. Keep layering. When you dig your spoon straight down into the parfait you should get some of all of the ingredients.
Here’s how to make my Mediterranean Parfait with Greek Yogurt.
Ingredients for two parfaits:
1/4-cup Walnuts, chopped
5 Medjool dates, seeded and diced
Organic honey – about one Tablespoon per parfait
1-1/2-cups, Greek yogurt, (I used the low-fat version)
Mix the chopped walnuts and diced dates in a bowl. Drop about 2-tablespoons of the mixture in the bottom of the glass. Put a very thin stream of honey on top. Remember, the dates add a lot of sweetness – so you don’t need much honey.
Layer about a 1/4-cup of yogurt in each glass. Drop more of the walnut-date mixture on top of the yogurt. By the time you’ve distributed it on top of the first layer of yogurt you should only have enough of the mixture left to garnish the top of the parfait. Put another thin stream of honey on top Layer about 1/2-cup of yogurt on top of each parfait. Garnish with the remaining walnut-date mixture and about a 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of honey on each parfait.
Put the parfaits in the frig. They can set till you’re ready to serve them. If you have long iced tea spoons available use them when you serve this dessert. Enjoy!
Yogurt is an ancient food whose history extends back over 5,000 years. It first appears to have come into use in Central Asia by the Bulghurs. Nomadic tribes wrote about having the ability to thicken milk to a desirable consistency and acidity.
In the Middle Ages when King Frances I suffered from ongoing digestive distress, no doctor in France could cure him. His ally, Suleiman the Magnificent of the Ottoman Empire of Turkey sent a doctor who recommended yogurt which cured him. The King spread the word about yogurt and how it cured him throughout France and Mediterranean Europe. Yogurt was introduced to America in the early 1900s by the Armenians.