Wake up your meals! Fish, chicken, lamb, beef, it matters not. Put a new spin on lunch and dinner with this Greek classic, Tzatziki; a thick spread of tangy yoghurt, cool cucumber and the savory snap of garlic made smooth and mellow with the addition of fruity olive oil. As someone married to a Greek, I have a tendency to overlook…almost forget tzatziki and this is one sauce which makes all your meals taste oh, so much better. All over Greece incredibly thick, plain yoghurt is served at breakfast but come lunchtime and dinner? It’s always tzatziki, in every kitchen, on every menu. Incredibly good for you, this yoghurt dish is the best natural probiotic on the planet. You won’t know how good it is for you, though, when it’s wrapped up with in soft pita bread with lamb, lettuce, tomato and french fries in a perfect gyro. Remember how much you like gyros?
Well, it’s because of the tzatziki making everything all runny and yummy. I’m not sure why it makes everything taste so much better but grilled fish, chicken, pork or beef on skewers, never mind shrimp are positively mind bending with the addition of this sauce. In Greece it’s served as a side or as an appetizer with other delectable tidbits to dip into. Fried calamari, steak tips, fried pork chunks and grilled octopus become stellar alongside tzatziki. I served it yesterday for Easter dinner and it flew out of here. I use only Fage 0% fat yoghurt, in the large container. It’s so rich and thick I only like the 0% fat. There’s a first. This sauce is so easy to prepare plus can also be made one day in advance of serving. With summer right around the corner you’re going to really love tzatziki. Enjoy!
Here’s an easy tip to get ALL the excess moisture out of the cucumber. And you want the cucumber as dry as you can get it otherwise you risk a watery, thin tzatziki, which nobody likes. Drape a clean dish towel over a large bowl. Using the large holes of a box grater, grate the peeled cucumbers over the towel so the shreds fall right into the towel. When you’re finished grating, gather the corners of the towel and, over the kitchen sink, twist and squeeze the ball of grated cucumber until there is no more liquid dripping out. Isn’t that great? I know. In fact, I have one dish towel set aside that I use only for squeezing grated cukes. This recipe is still fabulous the following day and can easily be halved. Tzatziki is served often with a Greek olive or two on top and a quick drizzle of olive oil.
Tzataziki, Greek Yoghurt Sauce
- 1 35.3-ounce container of Greek yoghurt, any excess liquid on top drained off
- 2 seedless or “English” cucumbers, peeled, grated and well-drained
- 3 garlic cloves, grated
- 1/2 cup high quality extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt plus more to taste
- Combine all ingredients and mix well.
- Taste for salt, cover with plastic wrap and chill until serving.