Tzatziki

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What’s Greek food without Tzatziki, right? Whenever we eat at our favorite Greek place, I always make sure to get two sides of this tasty Greek yogurt sauce to take home with my leftovers. Tzatziki just makes the meat, rice and vegetables taste so good!

Filled with crisp cucumbers, tart lemon, flavorful garlic and savory herbs, this sauce is fresh and delicious. When I make Greek food at home, I whip up a batch to enjoy with Turkey Meatball Greek Bowls, Chicken Kebabs, Pita bread, Lemon Rice, Roasted Vegetables or even your favorite fish. I also like to use leftovers for snacking with veggies or pita chips.

Traditional Greek Tzatziki is made with strained yogurt (usually from sheep or goats milk). I use Fage 2% Greek Yogurt which is perfectly rich and delicious. You could use a fat free or full fat Greek yogurt as well. Greek yogurt is a definite must though since it’s thicker, creamier and has twice the protein content of regular yogurt. Also, it’s “Greek” so it just makes sense!


Tzatziki

  • 2 cups Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup grated cucumber
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1-2 T lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 T fresh dill
  • 2 T fresh mint
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¾ tsp pepper

Measure yogurt into a mixing bowl. Peel and grate cucumber – place on cheese cloth or paper towel and squeeze the liquid out over the sink; set aside. Zest, then juice the lemon; crush and chop garlic, rinse, dry and chop fresh dill and mint. Add cucumber, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic and herbs to yogurt. Mix to combine. Add olive oil, salt and pepper; mix. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


Root Notes

  • For the cucumber, I use whichever type we have on hand. However, I’ve tested both and the English cucumber is not as wet as the regular variety. Either way, I recommend straining the cucumber after peeling and grating. If you want more color in your Tzatziki, just wash the cucumber and don’t peel it.
  • I usually start with the lemon zest and 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice, adding another tablespoon for extra zing if needed.
  • Fresh herbs are my favorite but if you don’t have any on hand, feel free to use dry. Substitute: 1 teaspoon dry for 1 tablespoon fresh.
  • If you prefer a lower herb to yogurt ratio, just add 1 tablespoon each of fresh dill and mint.  
  • If you don’t have dill or mint, you can use parsley which is quite flavorful and works well in this recipe.

 

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