Practicing Creativity

Tasty Tzatziki – the Best Easy Tzatziki Recipe

If you're not familiar with tzatziki, it's a yogurt and cucumber based sauce synonymous with Middle Eastern cuisine, often eaten as a dip. But for me, since I eat it with just about everything, it's more like a condiment. It's great with my favorite vegetarian dishes (a must for falafel), with fish (especially tasty with salmon), on burgers instead of mayo, on a baked potato instead of sour cream, etc., etc., and sometimes a spoonful all on its own 'cause it's just so dang good.

Finding tzatziki is easy – all the shops sell it – but finding fresh tzatziki without food additives is not. Which is why I make my own. 

I've tried several tzatziki recipes and finally, through trial and error, have come up with this one. Tzatziki purists will scoff at my use of dried dill weed and bottled lemon juice, but fresh dill is not always easy to find (and expensive when I do) and a whole fresh lemon for a teaspoon of juice is a waste. Most recipes call for a tablespoon of lemon juice, but I find that overpowering.

The most important part of any tzatziki recipe is Greek yogurt. You have got to have a good quality, thick Greek yogurt (think sour cream consistency), preferably a veritable one made from goat or sheep's milk. Goat and sheep milk yogurts are plentiful here, so that's not a problem for me, but I realize in the States they can be harder to find. If you have no choice, cow's milk Greek yogurt will work just fine.

Another important insure a uniform blend of cucumber and yogurt, you have to wring the water from your cucumber before adding it to your yogurt. I wring it out with a cheesecloth. If you don't have a cheesecloth, use your hands.

The Best Easy Tzatziki Recipe

250 grams (about 1 cup) of quality Greek Yogurt (I prefer brebis – sheep)

1 European Cucumber (or Garden cucumber) peeled, de-seeded (if needed) and chopped fine – will use 65 grams (about 1/2 cup)

1 generous tsp of dried dill weed (aneth)

1 tsp of lemon juice (bottled or fresh), feel free to add more if you think it's needed

2 medium cloves of garlic, pressed (or 1 clove of French Violet garlic – it's strong!)

1/2 tsp salt

a pinch of pepper, or to taste

Put the Greek Yogurt in a mixing bowl. Wash and peel your cucumber. Cut into halves and remove the seeds if needed. I prefer the seedless, burpless European or English cumber. Chop the cucumber into fine pieces. I use a small hand-pull mincer. You'll need about 1/2 cup of minced cucumber. What you don't use, put into a small freezer container and freeze for next time! Put the chopped cucumber in the center of a cheese cloth and squeeze to remove the excess water. When you've removed as much as you can, add it to the yogurt.

Add the teaspoon of dried dill weed (aneth) to the yogurt mix. Add the teaspoon (or more) of lemon juice. Use a garlic press to process your garlic and add to the bowl  Add the salt and pepper. 

Use a spoon to gently blend all together. This needs to be stored in the refrigerator and can keep about 4 days or so, if you don't have it all eaten before then.

Bon appétit !

1 comment

  1. Mmmmmmmmmm...thanks for this! I always love it when I can get a "seal of approval" on a recipe so I won't be wasting my time (or ingredients).


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