Tzatziki: never has ever there ever been more sensational a sauce; more delicious a dip.
For those of you who are unfamiliar, Tzatziki is a traditional Greek appetizer that uses yogurt as a base and gets a whole bunch of good stuff stirred on in. Added info that might be helpful is that the first “z” is silent, so it’s pronounced “tat-zeek-ee.”
We’ve all been there, sitting at a table or standing in line at a little Greek restaurant, not wanting to say out loud what it is we want to eat. I just figured I’d throw you a bone on this one. It’s worth ordering.
It’s also easy enough to make at home, which means you wouldn’t have to order it anywhere, but you’ll still need to tell everyone you know about it.
You know how Greek yogurt is so thick and luscious? Ever wonder how it gets that way when the other stuff next to it on the grocery store shelves is so runny and lack luster? Ready to have your mind blown?
It’s strained to remove any excess liquid. That’s it.
So, if you buy some regular yogurt at the store and put it in a paper towel lined colander set inside a bowl to catch the liquid – and let it sit in your fridge overnight – you’ll end up with yogurt so rich and creamy you’d swear it came from a cute little container with an exotic name and a much higher price tag. Don’t believe me? Just check out that picture above – that’s some strained, store brand stuff, but it sure doesn’t look like it.
Instead of taking a sweet and fruity, top it with granola route with our yogurt, we’re steering toward the direction of savory with some simple and delicious classic Greek flavors. Dried dill, which was left over from the Simple Spanakopita I made way back when and some olive oil, which adds a mildly fruity flavor and an even more luxurious texture.
Before you stir that together, add in a little garlic and lemon juice. Make sure you sprinkle in a little salt, too – and then completely forget to label it. Don’t leave it out just because I did.
While we’re on the topic of table salt – and I know you all have heard this a million times, so forgive me – it’s always easier to taste and add more than to regret and wish you could take some out. So, go easy.
Okay, enough of the public service announcement – stir that all around until everything’s incorporated.
Perfect! Your Tzatziki is almost ready to go – just one more ingredient and another quick stir.
What you see there is about a half of a European cucumber that I’ve grated up nice and fine. I also squeezed any excess liquid out by putting the cuc strands in a couple paper towels and showing it who’s boss. We worked so hard (okay, not really) to make our yogurt thick, it would be a shame to add in all that cucumber juice. Believe you me, you’ll be able to get a TON of it out, too – so you’ll be glad you took the extra step.
Once you’re all stirred up, it’s best to let your Tzatziki sit in the fridge for a little while to allow all of the flavors come together. Of course, I’d understand if you wanted to immediately inhale.
Tzatziki (Greek Cucumber Yogurt Dip)
Yield: approx. 2-1/2 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Inactive Time: overnight
32 ounce container low-fat yogurt
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice (fresh-squeezed or bottled)
1 tablespoon dried dill
1/2 european cucumber, grated then squeezed of excess liquid
1 clove garlic, minced
salt, to taste
Pour yogurt into a colander that’s been lined with two layers of paper towels. Set colander inside a bowl to collect liquid and place in the fridge to let sit overnight.
The next day, discard the liquid that collects in the bowl. Place strained yogurt into the bowl and stir in olive oil, lemon juice, dill, garlic and salt. Once that’s combined, add your grated cucumber.
Best chilled in the fridge for a little while to let the flavors marry, but you could enjoy asap if needed! This makes a delicious dip for crackers or fresh veggies and even doubles as a healthy and flavorful sandwich spread!
Tzatiziki is as delicious as it is easy to make! Plus, it doesn’t get any healthier than this. Opa!!