Tzatziki 150 150 David Rosengarten


The great yogurt-and-cucumber combo of Greece and Turkey is very popular in the U.S., where it usually does multiple duty. In a thicker form, it’s often served on meze appetizer platters (along with hommos, taramasalata, baba ganouj, etc.) When it’s a little thinner, it’s sometimes served at parties as a dip. And when its runny, it is often served as a sauce for kebabs, gyros, lamb dishes. The following great recipe is fully adjustable, texture-wise (by adding or subtracting yogurt)–but, as constituted, it’s a thick, garlicky stand-up version.

makes 8-12 servings as part of a Greek appetizer course

2 cups whole milk yogurt
2 small cucumbers
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon sugar

1. Line a strainer (or a coffee filter) with cheesecloth. Add yogurt, cover with plastic wrap, place over bowl and drain overnight in the refrigerator. After draining you should have about 1 1/4 cups thick yogurt. Reserve. Reserve the liquid that drained off, as well.

2. Peel cucumbers and halve lengthwise. Scoop out seeds with a spoon and discard. Thinly slice cucumbers and place in a strainer over a bowl. Toss cucumbers with 1 teaspoon kosher salt and let drain 30 minutes, tossing occasionally. Rinse briefly, and dry on a kitchen towel.

3. Place yogurt in a medium bowl. Add cucumbers and remaining ingredients. Stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

NOTE: If mixture is too thick for your purpose, add back some of the drained yogurt liquid until you reach the desired consistency.

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