A light, refreshing, versatile dip
Tzatziki is a very popular Greek yogurt condiment. In this Tzatziki recipe, I use a thick, probiotic rich, Greek strained yogurt that delivers a thick, creamy texture. Fresh, grated cucumber is then added to the yogurt, along with lemon juice, garlic, and fresh herbs. The result is a delicious, healthy, cucumber sauce that is incredibly versatile.
Tzatziki is so versatile that it is served alongside everything from raw vegetables like bell peppers, mushrooms and carrots, to savory meat dishes such as grilled chicken and lamb. It’s uses and application don’t stop there. It’s also widely used as a spread on sandwiches, and frequently found on mediterranean style platters accompanying pita bread, olives, feta, and stuffed grape leaves.
This delightful yogurt dip can be found on the shleves in most grocery stores, but none of them taste as good as home made, especially in summer when cucumbers are abundant and at the peak of their flavor.
The secret to Tzatziki success
The trick to making Tzatziki is getting the texture nice and thick. Cucumbers are full of water and when using salt, the salt will pull even more moisture out. Yogurt varieties also differ in thickness, and using one that has excess liquid can contribute to a watery dip. But it’s very easy to avoid watery dip. Here’s how:
- Select & Strain the yogurt. Don’t use anything less than 2% milk fat. Open the yogurt before you get started and if you notice excess liquid, drain it using a fine mesh sieve, lined with cheesecloth, set over a large bowl. Let it drain in the refrigerator for a minimum of 30 minutes or overnight, until significantly thickened.
- Shred & squeeze the Cucumbers. Use the large holes on a box grater to shred the cucumber. Then get rid of the moisture. There are several ways to squeeze excess water out of vegetables such as shredded cucumber. You can roll them into a clean tea towel and twist to squeeze out the excess water. You can use paper towels. Or you can use a nut milk bag, which is my preferred method.
When needing to squeeze out excess moisture from vegetables such as frozen spinach or shredded cucumbers, use a nut milk bag. They are reusable, the least messy, and the most effective of any method I have tried.
Simply load up the mesh style bag and squeeze. Watch the excess water flow out. You will be amazed at how well this trick works! Nut Milk bags are sold on Amazon (what isn’t?), Whole Foods, & culinary supply stores. (Game changer for making spinach dip!)