English pronunciation ( Taet-Zeek -Key)
Tzatziki is a sauce, or a dip. Made up of a combination of cucumber, fresh yogurt, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice or vinegar- and fresh herbs. So delicious and refreshing. I like to use it on everything. I especially love to dip raw vegetables in it, and sometimes use it for salad dressing.
My kids love it and it’s a great source of protein on its own. I love Tzatziki on grilled meats, on Falafel and in Gyros too. I grew up with a portion of a Greek family, and this was a highly coveted culinary staple at most family gatherings.
1/2 large seedless cucumber, unpeeled, grated and set to drain- or rush the process by tossing in 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups plain full-fat Greek yogurt
2 large garlic cloves, finely minced
2 Tablespoons extra virgin good quality olive oil
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or Himalayan salt
1/4-1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 -2 Tablespoons minced fresh dill
Grate the cucumber, gently salt and toss – set to drain through a fine mesh sieve overnight in the refrigerator or allow to sit for 10-20 minutes and squeeze and excess liquid from cucumber wash off salt residue and squeeze dry using a clean kitchen towel.
Add prepared cucumber to a small bowl and combine with the yogurt, garlic, oil, lemon juice and white pepper. Cover and refrigerate overnight, or as long as you can.
Remove from refrigerator and add chopped fresh dill to the mixture and stir to combine. Check and adjust seasoning.
Serve chilled with pita bread, fresh cut veggies for dipping or use as a side for grilled meats.
Cucumbers inherently release an abundance of water when cut. Make sure your grated cucumber is well-drained before adding to the remaining ingredients or your recipe will become watery and flavorless. If you have time, can drain it in cheesecloth or a fine mesh sieve overnight. If you’re in a rush, you can salt the cucumbers let sit about ten minutes, rinse and use your hands to squeeze the remaining liquid out of the cucumber.
The longer the garlic rests in the yogurt, the less bitter it will become and the better it will taste. For best results, combine all of the ingredients except the cucumber and allow it rest overnight in the refrigerator overnight- while your cucumber is draining.
Add the fresh dill at the last minute so it doesn’t overwhelm the rest of the flavors.