Sunday, June 24, 2012

Tzatziki Sauce

No matter how you spell it, this Greek sauce is amazing. Bursting with fresh flavor, creamy and a little spicy at the same time, it's great with grilled chicken or lamb, with Zucchini Bites (as pictured) or just with pita bread/chips or fresh veggies for dipping. Of course, it's also the classic topping for gyros. My version is easy - the hardest part is letting it sit while you wait for the flavors to blend!

  • 1 large cucumber
  • 8 ounces plain Greek yogurt
  • 16 ounces fat-free sour cream
  • 3-4 cloves garlic 
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried dill or 3 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped 
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint or 1 tablespoon, fresh mint, chopped 
  • Kosher salt 
 Shred cucumber with a food processor or box grater. Place in a strainer and sprinkle with one tablespoon kosher salt, tossing with a fork to distribute the salt. Let drain for an hour.

After the cucumber is well-drained, put in a bowl with the sour cream and yogurt. Mince garlic VERY finely and add to the bowl, along with the olive oil, vinegar, dill and mint, plus a few grinds of pepper. Mix well. Taste before adding any salt! The amount of salt already in the cucumber will vary, so taste the mixture and then add salt to taste, if any at all. Once the mixture is stirred together and salted correctly, cover and refrigerate at least an hour for the flavors to blend.

Note: As part of my goal to make recipes as accessible as possible, I've mixed sour cream and Greek yogurt - feel free to use all of one or the other. Greek yogurt costs a good bit more than sour cream, which is why I mixed them, and also why I am not a purist when it comes to fresh herbs. If you can't grow your own, they are often a waste of money because they are sold in such big bunches that they rot before they can be used. Dried is fine, especially in this recipe - just make sure to check them and toss when they lose their fragrance.

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