Yogurt Ingredient For More Substantial Dishes

Yogurt is the beefcake of the dairy world

Yogurt has long been pigeonholed as a grab-and-go breakfast or snack, and its forays into savory dishes have been limited to Middle Eastern and Central Asian cuisines.

But with Greek-style yogurt's rise to supermarket shelf ascendancy, chefs of all stripes have caught on to yogurt's untapped potential, promoting it from the granola bowl to heartier ranks.

The chef duo at Seattle's Spur cold-smokes yogurt to form the base of a savory panna cotta, recently served accompanied by watercress, tomatoes, cucumbers and a nigella-seed vinaigrette.

But this tangy cream may have the greatest affinity for protein: At San Francisco's new Zero Zero, fried chicken thighs come with an unexpected accoutrement of thick yogurt spiked with caraway seeds.

And in Chicago, Blackbird's charcuterie plate shirks ubiquitous condiments like mustard. Instead, mortadella and duck-bacon sausage are matched with an almond-oil-infused yogurt (click here to download the recipe).

Serve it with your next salami spread, or add chopped almonds and a splash of water to make a dip. The only rule: No granola allowed.