Last time we were in Crete, my wife made me promise to stop ordering so much Tzatziki. It seriously became a problem, but that’s how much I love it (she loves it too!). The creamy Greek yogurt (the highest fat possible), grated cucumbers, chopped fresh dill, garlic and olive oil create an irresistible and very healthy sauce that is great on fritters, bread, vegetables, burgers, and souvlaki just to name a few. Every chef has their own version of tzatziki, some are mild and some are potent with garlic and dill. This is the loaded version, loaded with flavor that is!
A few important tips when making tzatziki:
- Use high-fat Greek yogurt. The fat adds to the flavor and creaminess of the tzatziki. And don’t worry, the fat is good for you!
- When you add the grated cucumber to the colander, add a generous amount of salt. The salt pulls the liquid out of the cucumber. Wait 15 minutes and then squeeze any extra liquid out of the cucumber with your hands.
- Make sure you mince or press the garlic. You want a strong flavor of garlic in our tzatziki, but you don’t want it to overpower you with big chunks.
- Let the tzatziki sit for the best flavor. You can eat the tzatziki right away, but to have a full flavor immersion, refrigerate for at least an hour and then serve.
In Greece, Tzatziki is often served with bread and olives at the lunch or dinner table. I make it for brunches and dinner parties. It can make a healthy substitute for a store bought dip for chips or a raw vegetable platter. Serve it with our Italian Spicy Rosemary Olives and Tortilla Espanola (Spanish Potato Omelet) and you will have the conversation piece of making tapas from 3 different countries. Serve with a salad and your brunch is complete!
Loaded Tzatziki Yogurt Sauce with Fresh Dill, Garlic and Cucumber
- 1 cucumber, peeled
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 cup fresh dill, stems removed
- 2 cups Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic, pressed through a garlic press or finely minced
Grate cucumber into a colander resting over a bowl. Sprinkle salt on grated cucumber. Let this sit for about 15 minutes as you prepare rest of tzatziki (water will come out of the cucumber).
Chop dill and then add it to a bowl with the Greek yogurt, olive oil and pressed garlic. Mix well.
Squeeze juice out of the cucumber and then add to tzatziki. Salt, to taste. You can serve immediately, but fla