Saturday, October 1, 2011

Tzatziki Sauce

A few weeks ago my sister made the suggestion that I try making homemade tzatziki sauce for the blog. For those unfamiliar, it’s a Greek appetizer made with yogurt and cucumber, and works great as a dip or spread. I wanted to make Vegetarian Gyros last night, which would not be complete without the cool and creamy taste of tzatziki, so I decided to finally take her advice and give it a try! I found a recipe that I liked on, and the instructions seemed simple enough, so I got started.

Getting Started

(Feel free to use the original recipe from the link above, or the one listed here; the only change I made was using lemon juice instead of vinegar.)

First, start by pouring off any liquid that has accumulated on top of the yogurt. I missed this step because, as often happens, I started making the recipe without actually reading the instructions. My yogurt didn’t have any liquid on top, however, so I was good to go! Next take your minced (or very finely chopped) cucumber and strain it through a clean dish cloth. You want to remove as much liquid as you can, so don’t be afraid to really wring it! Add the rest of the ingredients, mix well, and place in the refrigerator for about an hour before serving.

 Wrapping it up

We enjoyed the tzatziki with our Vegetarian Gyros, and also with simple pita chips. I love the coolness of the mint and cucumber together, it’s so refreshing and light compared to a lot of other dips and sauces out there. Mincing the cucumber and then wringing it out was a little cumbersome (or should I say “cucumbersome”?), but I think that problem could be solved by putting it in a blender or food processor first. Give it a try for your next get-together; it’s sure to be a hit!

16 oz plain yogurt (low fat worked great)
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and minced (I just chopped it as finely as I could)
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
Coarse salt to taste
2 teaspoons lemon juice
6 fresh mint leaves, finely chopped

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