I love topping meals with a dollop of something cool and creamy. Raita on a curry, sour cream in a fajita, and in the Summertime I love nothing more than Tzatziki… with just about anything.
Tzatziki is perfect on top of pulled lamb, or spread onto flatbreads, or used as a dip for crisps and crudités. I love how versatile it is – you need tzatziki at your next BBQ!
Easy Greek Style Tzatziki
Tzatziki is wonderfully easy to make and is filled with nothing but lovely fresh ingredients and flavours. Dill is one of my favourite herbs (I think it screams Summer!) so I use a generous helping in my version of Tzatziki.
- Serves 4
- 250g Greek yoghurt
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- Half a lemon
- Handful of fresh dill, finely chopped
- Few sprigs of mint, finely chopped
- Third of a cucumber, de-seeded and grated.
- Olive oil for garnish
Add your Greek yoghurt to a bowl and give it a mix to loosen up, as some Greek yoghurts can be very thick. You can also loosen it with a little glug of olive oil if you like. Add the juice of half a lemon, then season generously and add your minced garlic cloves. Next add the dill and mint – make sure that these herbs are very finely chopped because you want those lovely flavours without making the tzatziki texture too ‘bitty’. Chomping down on a big mint leaf won’t be pleasing, but the flavour will be!
As we know cucumbers are full of water, which can quite literally water down the flavour of your tzatziki. So it needs a little processing before going into your tzatziki. Start by cutting the cucumber portion in half and using a spoon, scrap out the seeds. Next using the coarse side of a box grater, grate your cucumber at an angle to get lovely cucumber strands. Once the cucumber is grated, give it a squeeze between clean hands to remove the moisture. If you own a cheese cloth you can also use this to squeeze out the water. Once excess water has been removed you can add the cucumber to the yoghurt mix.
Using this method you can serve immediately. However tzatziki can taste even better when left overnight; I recommend this method if you are entertaining, for a guaranteed ten out of ten tzatziki! To leave overnight, keep the cucumber separate from the yoghurt mix until the day of serving, to prevent the cucumber from becoming too soggy.
Greek Style Tzatziki
- Chopping board
- Serving Spoon
- Box grater
- 250 g Greek yoghurt
- 4 Minced garlic cloves
- Juice of half a lemon
- Large handful of fresh dill, finely chopped
- Few sprigs of fresh mint, finely chopped
- Third of a cucumber, de-seeded and grated
- Add the Greek yoghurt to a bowl with the lemon juice and stir to loosen up. Add a little glug of olive oil to loosen up further if desired.
- Season with salt and pepper and add the minced garlic. Stir well.
- Stir in the dill and mint.
- Halve the cucumber portion and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. Use the coarse side of a box grater to grate the cucumber at an angle to get strands.
- Use clean hands to squeeze out excess moisture from the grated cucumber before adding to the tzatziki and stirring well to combine.
- Finish your tzatziki for serving by topping with cracked black pepper, a drizzle of olive oil and some sprigs of fresh dill.
Remember you eat with your eyes and dips can look a little ‘blah’ without a garnish – in this case just a big bowl of white! Give your tzatziki some wow factor by finishing it with lots of cracked black pepper, a drizzle of olive oil and some sprigs of fresh dill to frame the bowl. This will whet the appetites of those enjoying your tzatziki by showing off some of the flavours within the dip.
Making Tzatziki in advance
As mentioned tzatziki, like many things, can taste even better when it has been left overnight for the flavours to develop. Greek yoghurt is mostly a blank canvas onto which flavours can impress themselves, so overnight development will allow the garlic and herbs to infuse. Garlic transforms from a harsh hum to a more mellow and aromatic flavour when it is left in the yoghurt for a while. This makes for extra tasty tzatziki.
Is Tzatziki healthy?
I don’t love the term ‘healthy’ as I don’t like to demonise foods and place others on a pedestal. Besides, what is one person’s idea of ‘healthy’ is completely different to someone else’s. I can say however, that Tzatziki being made from scratch with lots of lovely fresh ingredients makes it a more wholesome choice than shop bought. Tzatziki is a low sugar sauce and filled with fibre. Plus Greek yoghurt is rich in protein.
Which yoghurt is best?
As this is a dish of Greek origin it is absolutely best to use an authentic Greek yoghurt. I really like the Fage products which have a lovely tang and come in lots of different sized pots which are handy for catering to different amounts of people… or just yourself!
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