Tzatziki -Delicious Greek Sauce
Tzatziki is one of the classic sauces in Greek cuisine. Some of the main ingredients include Greek yogurt, cucumbers, dill, and garlic...yup, garlic. In other words, this isn't for the faint of heart. This creamy white sauce is the perfect addition to any type of grilled meat or vegetable. My kids even love to eat it with fries or on a piece of bread. Much of the Greek cuisine today has middle eastern roots and it is difficult to know who first made what. This aside, the fact is that tzatziki is delicious and easy to make, but you'll need to know the "special" ingredient that makes all the difference. Try the recipe, you won't be disappointed.
4 cups Greek yogurt (or strained plain yogurt)
8 garlic cloves
2 cups chopped (skinless) cucumber (English cucumber works best & try to hollow out the seeds first as much as possible)
1/2 cup fresh dill (dried dill weed can be used as a substitute)
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoon extra virgin Greek olive oil
Be Green, Avoid Machines
1. Put the Greek yogurt into a mixing bowl. (I've also found that "Labneh," a Lebanese thick yogurt makes excellent tzatziki. You can find it in local Greek, Lebanese or Armenian markets). If you can't find Greek yogurt or Labneh, you can make something similar by straining regular plain yogurt.This can be done by placing the yogurt into a coffee filter and allowing it to strain for several hours to remove the liquid and thicken the yogurt.
2. Remove the skin from the garlic and chop it until it is very fine.
3. Peel the cucumber and grate it on a coarse grater. English cucumbers work best because of their thin skin and small seeds. Make sure to drain the cucumber of it's excess "water." You can do this by using your hands to squeeze the cucumber into palm-sized balls.
4. Remove the stems from the dill and finely chop it.
5. Add all of the above into the yogurt along with the salt, vinegar, and olive oil.
Mix well and add a little extra olive oil on top...you can never have too much olive oil!
This video shows you a slightly different version of how to make tzatziki, but it is worth watching...she uses both lemon and vinegar! You will also notice that she adds other ingredients like onions and black pepper.
Olives: From The Tree, To The Press
I hope you enjoy this short video that shows olive oil production
Some Of The Products That Will Help You Make Your Tzatziki.
Delicious and good for you too...how often does that happen!
If you are interested in learning more about Greek food (and a little bit about the Greeks of Asia Minor), you should definitely watch the movie, "A Touch of Spice." Read a review from the N.Y. Times below.
A Touch of Spice
"This is a heartwarming movie about family, love, and food. A gentle, bittersweet comedy, the film touches the heart in a very special way. The horrifying pain of political expulsion, the agony of repatriation, the longing for a lost past- all these are depicted with sensitivity and respect for the people involved. Family ties and traditions make the unbearable bearable in this lovely, touching film. This is, indeed, a rare treat."
-Courtesy of J.D. , New York Times
Check it out on Amazon.
Most tzatziki recipes use lemon juice instead of vinegar, but I think "vinegar" is the key ingredient that makes the tzatziki taste "nostimo" (means "delicious" in Greek). Your thoughts?