Cool and creamy tzatziki sauce is a summertime staple when cucumbers are at their best.
What is Tzatziki?
Tzatziki is a yogurt, cucumber and garlic dip that goes well with any Greek dishes, like souvlaki, or calamari. It's fresh, crisp, tart, and creamy all at once. It brings a cucumber coolness to anything deep-fried or spicy, and it makes a lovely dip for bread, especially pita, and for crackers, or veggies. It is also a delicious accompaniment to this yummy Turkey Souvlaki dish, spread on a warm pita and piled with roasted peppers.
It's Easy To Make
The best part is how quick and easy it is to put together. Tzatziki is one of the fastest and easiest sauces to make. And you can keep it in the fridge for up to a week. Which is great because it only gets better.
The Base: Greek Yogurt
It used to be hard to find Greek yogurt here. To make it yourself, you needed to strain regular yogurt over cheesecloth for a couple of hours to remove the water. Now that we have Greek yogurt available everywhere, this is so easy to make. I used a zero percent fat Greek yogurt (which is still thick and creamy), in this recipe so it's guilt-free, too.
The Cucumber: Fresh is Best
You may be tempted to use up a cucumber that's going a little soft. But please resist because it will be reflected in the result. The cucumber is the highlight of this sauce, so be sure to use a fresh, crisp one.
In addition, make sure to taste your cucumber before making the sauce. A bitter cucumber will ruin the tzatziki. The best choice is a long English cucumber which has fewer and smaller seeds than a standard pickling cucumber. Although you don't have to peel it if you use a long English cucumber, I prefer to peel anyway, so that my sauce isn't green. Fresh dill is absolutely best, but if you substitute dried dill, this will still be delicious.
You can also try this cool and creamy tzatziki with these yummy Greek Meatballs (Keftedes)
- 2 cups plain Greek yogurt
- 1 long English cucumber
- 2 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- 2 tbsp finely chopped dill
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- Salt to taste
- Grate cucumber coarsely over a strainer and bowl. Squeeze and press out as much water as you can.
- In a bowl, combine grated cucumber with yogurt, garlic, dill, olive oil, lemon juice and zest, and salt.
- Refrigerate for at least an hour to chill and allow the flavours to meld.