I feel like not much needs said beyond that this is the most famous Greek sauce. It is a deliciously fragrant and refreshing appetizer which makes it ideal for summer. Very easy to prepare, Tzatziki requires few cooking utensils and no skill.
Although it is shared by other Mediterranean countries, such as Turkey and Malta, there is very little variation between recipes. The recipe that I will share here is the one that is most popular as a dip and spread. Yes, yes, the one that never misses a party, and it is usually found it right next to the Hummus and is served with pita bread and, or finger veggies.
For a little extra zip, add fresh mint.
But do not be afraid to try it for its other uses as a Greek sauce to accompany meats, gyros, salad dressing and much more, because, after all, it shares the same essence as the original recipe as a Greek-style yogurt with cucumber. You will find that this base has many possibilities.
HOW TO MAKE THE PERFECT TZATZIKI:
Take off the water contained in the cucumber: Leftover water will dilute the yogurt and make the Tzatziki soggy. Cut the cucumber in two and remove the seeds before grate it. Removing of seeds is optional, the seeds are where most of the water is kept and you want the cucumber to be dry when adding to recipe. Place the cut cucumber in colander or mesh sieve and ensure all extra water is removed. Adding a pinch of salt will also help to soak up the extra water.
Grate the cucumber: using a hand grater (like me) or a food processor. Don’t puree it!
Tzatziki SauceCourse: AppetizersCuisine: GreekDifficulty: Easy
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Very easy to prepare, Tzatziki requires few cooking utensils and no skill.
- Main Ingredients
300 gr (10 oz) Greek yogurt (cow-whole milk)
1 Cucumber, medium size
1/2 Branch of fresh dill
2 Garlic cloves to taste
- Sauce Ingredients
50 ml (1.6 oz) of Extra Virgen Olive Oil (EVOO) and 1 tbsp extra to garnish
3 tbsp of lemon juice (fresh squeezed)
Salt and ground pepper at taste
- Great the cucumber: Wash and partially peel the cucumber. Grind it in a food processor or using a hand grater. Add salt and place it in a mesh strainer or colander to drain the liquid. Cover and put aside.
- Garlic and dill: Peel the garlic and mince finely or mush like a cream. Chop the fresh dill
- Mix just to combine: In a serving bowl, combine the Greek yogurt, the minced garlic, and the EVOO. Add the drained cucumber and the chopped dill.
- Set up the sauce: Keep the mixture at the fridge minimum of 2 hours. Rectify salt and pepper at taste.
- Garnish and serve: Add EVOO and minced dill just before serving with warm pitta bread and sliced vegetables.
- Never: use cream cheese instead of Greek yogurt.
- What kind of cucumber? there are few varieties of cucumbers in the market, the English or Persian are almost seedless which is great here. I’ve to use garden variety because it has an intense flavor. But there is no rule.
- Recipe source: Cooking The Moon
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Use unflavored Greek yogurt: Don’t use regular yogurt. Greek sauce calls for Greek yogurt. You can buy it or make it yourself: Greek yogurt is regular yogurt with the whey strained out. This is the reason for the extra thickness and density of Greek yogurt that will bring an authentic texture to this sauce.
Better whole cow’s milk Greek yogurt: Cow’s milk will have the milder aroma and flavor. Also, Tzatziki, by itself, is a very light dish so no need to skimp on the fat in this recipe. Using non-fat yogurt will cause your sauce to lose flavor.
Always fresh dill (and be generous): along with garlic, this is the ingredient that will provide the most flavor and at the same time is the key characteristic of the Greek version.
Put in the fridge for at least for two hours: This dish is best served cool. Also, chilling this dish will prevent the garlic from being so sharp and will help to integrate all the flavors.