Wednesday, 22 April 2020

Tzatziki

A certain time of year rolls around, usually around now, when I crave this fresh, tangy, yogurt and cucumber dip.




I rarely make this during winter, I need long evenings and warm temperatures for my craving to start. In late spring though, when we start to eat out in the garden I use any excuse to serve it, and thankfully it goes perfectly with so many different types of food that I seem to have lots of opportunities. 

Sometimes we eat it with pita and crackers for dipping, other times as a side garnish with our evening meals, it's a perfect accompaniment with fresh summer salads, and I adore it spread thickly on slices of fresh bread loaves or on top of a homemade burger.

I have experimented so much with this over the years that I finally have the recipe just the way I like it - heavy on the herbs and cucumber, light on the lemon juice, with perfectly prepared cucumber.

YIELDS 3 - 4 CUPS

What you will need:



  • 1 cucumber
  • Fine sea salt, approximately 1/2 a tablespoon - this will help to extract the water from the cucumber
  • 500ml Greek yogurt 
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon of Maldon salt
  • A couple of grinds of black pepper
  • Mint 

Equipment at the ready...


  • Box grater
  • Sieve
  • Large bowl
  • Garlic mincer


How to make the dip:

Start by preparing the cucumber by removing as much of the water as you can, this will ensure that the finished dip has a perfect balance of flavours and consistency, and won't be diluted by the water from the cucumber.

Cut the cucumber in half and scrape out the seeds from the center with a teaspoon. Grate the cucumber (there is no need to peel the skin) by using the largest sized grate on a box grater. 

Next drain the water from the cucumber. Place in a sieve over a large bowl, sprinkle generously with fine sea salt and mix. You could at this stage leave to drain overnight, but as I'm impatient especially when it comes to food I like to help it along by placing a second smaller bowl on top and then my heaviest pestle and mortar on top of this. The liquid will start to drain immediately. To help it along I mix the cucumber around every so often with a fork and replace the weight on top. When the cucumber stops dripping it's ready, this will take about two hours and the drained excess water should yield almost a cup.

When the cucumber is ready, scoop out the Greek yogurt into a medium-sized bowl. Add the olive oil, lemon juice and season with salt and pepper

Mix in the drained grated cucumber. 

Add finely chopped mint to taste, for me, that's about 3 - 4 tablespoons. 

I used to add a clove of minced garlic, but the flavour always seemed too intence. While I absolutely adore garlic I do think in tzatziki it's best left out, but try it for yourself and see which you like best.

Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil, and mint leaves. Serve, as I do, with anything you like!

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