Tzatziki sauce is a beautifully refreshing Middle Eastern dip using Greek yogurt, fresh cucumbers, oil, vinegar, lemon and dill. It is one of the most versatile sauces ever created.
WHAT IS TZATZIKI SAUCE?
For those of us who are not Middle Eastern, Greek or Lebanese and did not grow up in that kind of household, something called Tzatziki may be very unfamiliar to us.
But Tzatziki sauce is probably one of the most refreshing and versatile sauces ever created. It is simply a cucumber based sauce made from yogurt, garlic and cucumbers. Other ingredients such as lemon juice, mint, dill or parsley are often added.
It’s a healthy sauce you can serve with chicken, grilled veggies, pita chips, gyros and as a raw veggie dip.
It’s also very simple to make, and one of the only sauces I know of that uses cucumbers, which is what makes it really refreshing.
There is also a bit of garlic in tzatziki sauce, and one of my favorite ingredients, fresh dill. This is really a very versatile sauce that is so light in flavor between the cucumber and the dill and I have fallen in love with it.
DO YOU HAVE TO USE GREEK YOGURT?
If I am to site my friend Maria, not only do you have to use Greek yogurt, you need to go to a specialty Greek store to buy it! Yes, she’s 100% Greek. But for our purposes, I used Fage.
However it won’t hurt to strain the yogurt using cheesecloth in a strainer for a minimum of 30 minutes. You will get an even thicker yogurt.
Do you have to? No.
HOW TO MAKE TZATZIKI SAUCE:
- Starting with the star of the dish, the cucumber, I recommend an English cucumber. The cucumber is the main ingredient therefore it should be freshly bought, not mushy or gummy. It is peeled first and FINELY diced. Do you have to peel it? No. Some even recommend putting it in a small food processor for a few pulses. Me? I’m old school I just diced it VERY VERY small.
- Cucumbers hold a LOT of water which you will find especially true if you used a food processor. All this excess water needs to be removed otherwise our Tzatziki sauce will be very watered down. So simply place the cucumber on a paper towel and ring out the excess water. You can leave it on a dry paper towel while you gather the rest of the ingredients.
- Mix the diced cucumber with the yogurt, oil, vinegar, garlic and lemon. Season with a little salt and pepper and FRESH dill.
The next question is what to serve with our freshly made sauce.
Well why not really impress your friends?Print
Light, fresh cucumbers are finely diced and combined with Greek yogurt, garlic, lemon and fresh dill for one of the most refreshing and versatile sauces out there!
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1/2 Tablespoon Vinegar
- 1–2 Cloves Organic Garlic, minced
- 2 Tablespoons Organic Lemon Juice
- 1 1/2 Cups Whole Greek Yogurt, strained with cheese cloth if you have time
1/2 Organic English Cucumber, diced very small, excess water rung out
- 2 Tablespoons Fresh Dill, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt and fresh pepper to taste
- Begin by peeling the cucumber and either dicing by hand into very small pieces or put in a small food processor and pulse until there are little chunks.
- Strain the excess liquid from the cucumber in a paper towel by ringing dry and then place the cucumber on a dry paper towel until ready to combine with the rest of the ingreidents.
- Combine the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, lemon, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Mix until well combined. Using a whisk, blend in the yogurt.
- Finally, add the cucumber and chopped fresh dill.
- Chill for at least two hours before serving.
Some recipes have substituted fresh parsley or mint in place of the dill while others have added about 1/4 Cup of Feta cheese as well.
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