Whether you call it tzatziki or call it cucumber sauce, we can all agree this Greek condiment is delicious.
Tzatziki is a classic Greek condiment. Basically, it’s a creamy sauce made with cucumbers, Greek yogurt, garlic and fresh dill. Tzatziki is used as a dipping sauce for fresh vegetables or chips. It’s also the sauce that’s typically served with gyros or souvlaki (Greek Kabobs). It’s cooling characteristics make it ideal to serve with just about any grilled meat, especially bold-flavored or spicy meat. Personally, I love it with my Buffalo wings. It puts the bottled ranch or blue cheese dressing to shame.
There seems to be a million versions of tzatziki, if there’s one. All are somewhat similar, yet slightly different. Some call out for special varieties of cucumbers, others use mint instead of dill and some are downright adamant about which brand of yogurt to use.
For those of you that know me well, you already know the main ingredient in most of my recipes is laziness. I don’t have the time nor the initiative to round up oddball ingredients unless it’s absolutely imperative to make the recipe work. In the case of tzatziki, I tend to use what I have on hand. And, you know what? It always turns out great. I sometimes add dill, yet sometimes I don’t. I might use some lime or I might use a lemon. I used an orange once. It was good. I like the addition of mint and a little honey if I’m making it for Buffalo wings.
So the lesson here is, make it your way. This recipe will get you started. Maybe it’s a keeper, maybe you’ll tweak it. One thing’s for certain; you’ll be making tzatziki often.
It should be noted that the tzatziki recipe calls for Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt is a bit thicker with less moisture than normal yogurt, but regular yogurt will work. You’ll just need to strain out the excess moisture prior to using, otherwise the tzatziki will be too watery. I actually strain regular Greek yogurt just to be sure.
- 1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and finely diced
- 1-1/2 cup Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons finely diced onion
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped dill or mint
- Kosher, or sea salt and white pepper per taste
- Prepare the cucumber being sure to remove all the seeded membrane area. This part of the cucumber contains most of its juice which we don't want. Otherwise the tzatziki will be too watery. Some squeeze it while wrapped in cheese cloth.
- Place diced cucumber in a bowl and sprinkle with salt and set aside for about 10 minutes. The salt will help to draw out more moisture from the cucumber.
- Combine yogurt and remaining ingredients in a mixing bowl. Whisk until well blended. Add the cucumber and mix.
- Season per taste with salt, pepper and additional herb.
- Refrigerate until cool prior to serving. (See Note Below)