To support the site, Team Yogurt will occasionally partner with companies whose products or services tie in with our mission to celebrate yogurt. We're picky, forthright, and transparent about these sponsored partnerships. Below is a sponsored post I developed for Organic Valley, whose new Grassmilk Yogurt is available at natural food stores, food coops, and select retailers nationwide. ~Cheryl
Last spring, when Yogurt Culture launched, I threw a book release party for 100 friends and supporters in my community. We writers toil in relative solitude, and the opportunity to celebrate the publication of a new book is a unique pleasure.
Friends helped me prepare a huge array of the book’s 115 recipes, but I also felt committed to making enough homemade yogurt for all 100 guests to try.
I knew I needed a premium-quality milk to show it off, so I turned to Organic Valley Grassmilk, a non-homogenized, organic milk from cows grazed exclusively on pasture. It was a great call.
At the same time, I readily admit to anyone who asks (and at all my events) that in addition to making my own yogurt, which I do regularly, I also buy commercial yogurt as well.
As you can imagine, my standards for which yogurts to buy are extremely high. Some brands make the cut. Many do not.
Because of my love for its fluid Grassmilk, I was thrilled when I learned that Organic Valley has just released its own line of Grassmilk Yogurt, made from 100% grass-fed whole milk. It’s certified organic and comes in two flavors – plain and vanilla. With a thick cream top, the yogurt underneath is creamy and light on the palate, with the complex flavor profile unique to cows who graze exclusively on pasture. (That means they’re fed no grains, just natural grasses, legumes, and clovers.) I especially appreciate the health profile of this small-batch yogurt, which is free of artificial gums or additives. (Grass-fed dairy also has higher levels of conjugated linoleic acid, or CLA, and a more beneficial ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids.)
As part of my collaboration with Organic Valley, I created a package of recipes featuring their new Grassmilk Yogurts, which come in 24-ounce tubs (a great size for cooking). I can assure you that these yogurts shine not just straight-up, but in your favorite yogurt-centric recipes as well.
Here’s my Yogurt Dip with Warm Mixed Olives, Sesame Seeds, and Roasted Garlic. It’s savory, super-simple, and a perfect addition to your next party, whether it’s a big to-do or an intimate gathering amongst friends.
Recipe for Yogurt Dip with Warm Mixed Olives, Sesame Seeds, and Roasted Garlic
Super-creamy, lightly-salted yogurt makes a perfect foil for briny olives and sweet, tender roasted garlic. Look for mixed olives at larger supermarkets or delis, which often have olive bars that allow you to mix and match. If using olives with pits, be sure to warn your guests and pass a small bowl alongside. (Otherwise, aim for pitted olives.)
Makes 4 to 6 servings, as a dip
One 24-ounce container Organic Valley Plain Grassmilk Yogurt
1 large head garlic
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup mixed olives
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
Warm flatbread, for serving
Line a strainer with some cheesecloth or a large paper towel and set over a bowl. Sprinkle ½ teaspoon salt over the yogurt, and stir in gently. Spoon the yogurt into the strainer and let drain at room temperature while the garlic roasts and cools.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Slice the top fifth off the head of garlic, keeping the cloves and peels intact. Set on a square of foil large enough to wrap the whole head. Drizzle the exposed cloves with 1 teaspoon olive oil, sprinkle lightly with salt, and close the foil. Set in a small baking dish. Roast for 60 to 75 minutes, until the cloves are completely tender. Carefully open the foil, remove the garlic with tongs, and cool until comfortable enough to handle. Squeeze the cloves from their papery skins.
To finish prepping the yogurt, tip the accumulated whey into a jar and refrigerate for another use. Dry the bowl, and add the strained yogurt. Whisk by hand until very smooth and almost fluffy.
In a small skillet, warm 1 teaspoon olive oil. Add the olives and warm through, tossing, for 2 to 3 minutes. Spoon the olives over the yogurt, add the roasted garlic cloves, and sprinkle with the sesame seeds. Drizzle with a touch more olive oil and serve with warm flatbread for dipping.
|| Photographs, Words + Recipe by Cheryl Sternman Rule ||
|| Secret Word = grassmilkyogurt ||