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Classic Tzatziki Recipe

Home > Adelaide > Food and Wine | Recipes | Frugal Friday
by Kat Parr Mackintosh (subscribe)
Young and coffee in varying degrees, Kat also says stuff @ThoroughlyMode
Published May 30th 2011
Teamed with freshly made (or heated up) Turkish bread, tzatziki doth make a meal. But if you add a lamb kebab or two, some fresh tomato and red onion salad and some tabouleh, then you have a feast. Of course tzatziki will also do wonders on your corn chips or crackers for something a bit more basic.

But this versatile little dip is also useful as a sauce, which is the way it's often served in Greece which is where it's from. Aside from hummus, this is one of the most flavourful dips around. (If you're not sure exactly which one we're talking about it's the yoghurt-y, fresh tasting one which the cucumber pieces in it.)

There are several variations on the recipe, mostly based around whether you want to use garlic and / or mint. This recipe has both, and some dill for good measure, but you can leave out either and it will still be good.

Showing off by using my home grown fresh herbs
Showing off by using my home grown fresh herbs

Here's a list of all the ingredients you'll need:
250g yoghurt traditionally you should use sheep or goat's milk yoghurt, but as long as it's thick and Greek style you'll be fine.
1 cucumber
crushed garlic
lemon (for juicing)
olive oil

The proportions of each seasoning ingredient that you'll need is really up to you, so be prepared to keep tasting until you get the recipe perfect.

Step One:
The main ingredients are your yoghurt and your cucumber, and, and this may surprise you, most of the effort involved in this recipe must be applied to the humble cucumber. First you must peel it. Then you must cut it in half and scoop out the seeds don't scrimp on this step, the seeds will make it taste funny. Then chop it finely or grate it coarsely and place it in a colander and sprinkle it with salt. This is so that some of the juice runs off you'll know that good tzatziki isn't a runny, and this salting also helps with the flavour.

Step Two:
You're almost finish molly coddling the cucumber, just pat it dry on some paper kitchen towel add a little olive oil to it and then smoothly fold the oily cucumber into the yoghurt.

Step Three:
Season. If you opt for mint or dill it should be finely chopped, if you opt for garlic it should be finely crushed and if you opt for lemon juice it should be used sparingly at first you really don't want to risk a runny tzatziki. If you think this sounds like too many flavours then dill and garlic or mint and lemon are probably the pairs to try first.

The finished article
The finished article
Step Four:
Allow the flavours to get to know each other in the fridge for half an hour before you serve it so that it's nice and cold and fresh. Finish off your tzatziki within two days of preparing not that you're going to have any trouble with that.
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Why? It doth make a meal
When: A summer dip
Where: In your own kitchen
Cost: Very inexpensive
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