Yogurt itself is of course as old as civilization, so I couldn’t tell you when and or where Tzatziki or any of the related sauces came from – Greece, Turkey, anywhere in the Balkans / Mediterranean, but I can tell you a) how delicious and refreshing it is and give you the basics on how to make it. As with all of our recipes I we’ll start with the main ingredients and then give you a couple of ideas on how to dress it up and make it your own. Fortunately for all of us, plain Greek yogurt is incredibly easy to come by in just about any supermarket these days, and the other ingredients are just as common.
Tzatziki sauce will taste good on just about anything, but it really brings out the flavors in lamb and chicken, fish can be a little touch and go, depends upon your taste buds.
2 Cups / 16 ozs Plain Greek Yogurt – standard size in supermarkets
1 or 2 large cucumbers, no seeds
Bunch Fresh Dill, no stems, just the bushy tops
Tablespoon Olive Oil
One Large Tablespoon Crushed Garlic
Juice from half a lemon
Salt & Pepper
Making Tzatziki couldn’t be easier, start with the yogurt and spoon it into a food processor, followed by the dill, cucumber and garlic, then pulse. I do everything by taste, so as you’re adding to the yogurt, pulse and taste, adding more as you see fit. This will last about 2 or 3 days in the fridge max, although not that it goes bad that quickly, only that the cucumbers start to get more runny.
Note: prepping the cucumbers – cucumbers retain a lot of water, which can make your Tzatziki watery, not the best consistency, we would suggest that when you quarter them and remove the seeds, lay your cucumber slices out on fry paper towel and sprinkle them with coarse salt, leave them there for an hour or so and the salt will absorbs the water. When ready brush of the salt and toss them into the mix.
A Little Extra:
Tzatziki in and of itself really doesn’t need all that much more to make it any better, but if you want to throw in some extra spices that’s up to you. Our suggestion would be stick with middle eastern or Mediterranean flavors – cumin, cardamom, cinnamon and nutmeg work – it’s also good with a little extra heat, try red pepper flakes, or even sriracha.