Try and say this one three times fast. It’s difficult to say it just once. When I attempt to ask for it at my newest find here in Tulsa, the owner chuckles. It isn’t said quite the way it is spelled, that much is true.
Since I first tried a gyro (yee-ro not ji-ro ya sillies) when I was about eight, I have been in search of recipes for it and authentic restaurants that didn’t assume Ranch dressing could be a good substitute. (Though now, I have found a cucumber ranch that comes extremely close) You honestly have to find a Mediterranean or Greek restaurant to get the real deal. Finding authentic places of either is like trying to find a real unicorn.
I know, you get my point. But, to me, this is something everyone should try.
Tzatziki is a very simple sauce, used mostly as a dip for bread, like your basic loaf or pita, as the first course of a meal. Or, it makes a perfect sauce for a gyro, meat sandwiches, or as a veggie dip. It is perhaps one of the most versatile foods. Each country around the Mediterranean Sea has a variation but the differences are minor at best. A bit less garlic here, or yogurt made from a different mammal, seasoning changes or, exchange the lemon juice for something else.
What I like about Tzatziki is it is pretty healthy. In moderation, of course. Greek yogurt (or strained yogurt of sheep or goat origins) is the binder and the fat of the sauce/dip. From there, it has olive oil, salt, cucumbers… Well, how about I just post the recipe instead?
On to the recipe!
1 pound (1 pint) plain Greek yogurt
1 cucumber, unpeeled and seeded
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (1 lemon)
1 tablespoon good olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh dill
Pinch freshly ground black pepper
Grate the cucumber and toss it with 1 tablespoon of salt; place it in another sieve, and set it over another bowl. Place the bowl in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 hours so the cucumber can drain.
Squeeze as much liquid from the cucumber as you can and add the cucumber to the yogurt. Mix in the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, dill, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper. You can serve it immediately, but I prefer to allow the tzatziki to sit in the refrigerator for a few hours for the flavors to blend. Serve chilled.
Check out others in the A to Z Challenge at http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/p/2012-to-z-challenge-sign-up-list.html.