I honestly don’t understand how I went this long without making tzatziki. I’d made some last year and it was great, but for whatever reason I forgot how magical the experience was and then kept putting it off and here we are. Not only is this super easy to make and incredibly flavorful after the 30 minutes of refrigeration the recipe calls for; it’s even better on day two! Alas, the tzatziki didn’t make it to day three (it was too good! irresistible, really). I’ve been slathering it on the pita I made the other day, and all I know is that this is another one of those “shake my head because this is too darn good” recipes.
Adapted from Elly Says Opa!
1 32-oz container of plain fat-free yogurt (or Greek yogurt; if using, skip straining step)
2 cucumbers, peeled and seeded
5 cloves of garlic, smashed then roughly minced (dial down the garlic if you don’t love garlic the way I do)
1-2 teaspoons of white vinegar
salt, to taste
a sprinkle of black pepper
a quick splash of fresh lemon juice
a quick drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
dill, to taste
1. Using cheese cloth, strain yogurt overnight over a large bowl. You’ll be stunned at how much liquid comes out, and the resulting yogurt will be thick like Greek-style yogurt.
2. Take your peeled and seeded cucumbers and shred them using a vegetable peeler or cheese grater. Since I had neither on hand (this is what happens when you move!), I kinda chopped and finely diced the cukes into smallish pieces. I’ve made this before using one of the aforementioned tools (and recommend it for a smoother consistency), but since I don’t mind finding big pieces of veggies, I went ahead and made this “rustic” style.
3. Using a clean towel, paper towel, or more cheese cloth, squeeze the cucumbers as much as you can to get the liquid out. Once you think you’ve got out all the water, pause, regroup, and then do it again! Then one more time. The less liquid you’ve go got in the final product, the creamier-thicker-tastier (in my opinion) it will be.
4. In a large bowl, combine yogurt, cucumbers, garlic, vinegar and lemon juice. Add a bit of salt to taste, then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes so that the flavors can get to know each other.
5. When serving, sprinkle with a bit of dill and drizzle with a bit of olive oil.
6. Enjoy as a dip for pita (chips), on a gyro, or by the spoonful.