April 20, 2006
Tzatziki Tzastes Good
Tzatziki is a delicious cucumber yogurt sauce. I like it as a dip with toasted baguette slices or warm pita bread, but most of the time it's served beside lamb or with kebabs. It tastes refreshingly light. It is a wonderful dip for an hors d'oeuvres party, especially if the rest of the food is quite heavy.
The first time I tasted Tzatziki was at a party here and when I saw the white dip with flecks of dill, I assumed it was a standard sour cream based dill dip. I didn't bother trying it until a friend urged me to sample it late in the evening. I was so glad I did since now I'm such a fan. A good-for-you dip that tastes like it couldn't be.
2 cups plain, full fat yogurt (Greek yogurt preferred)
1 large cucumber, peeled and grated
3 cloves garlic, minced 1/4 cup chopped dill
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp good olive oil
Salt to taste
one variation, optional: add 2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
Cut the cucumber in half and scoop out the seeds. Peel and grate. Place the cucumber in a colander, sprinkle with salt and let it drain a few hours. I helped this along by squeezing out as much of the water as I could. Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl, salting to taste. Refrigerate a few hours before serving. For a thicker dip, you can strain the yogurt in a colander lined with cheesecloth overnight, or at least a few hours, before combining with the rest of the ingredients.