Big bold flavors in foods always pull me in. I love the tart pucker of lemons, the fresh taste of herbs like rosemary, basil and oregano then there’s always that unmistakable hint of garlic that can make a dish something special. When you combine all these ingredients together, you know what happens…you feel like you’ve been transported to Greece or at least to your favorite Greek restaurant. Unfortunately, I’ve never been to Greece but that journey is on my “must do” list. In the mean time, I’ve decided the best way to enjoy the incredibly wonderful flavors of Mediterranean cooking is to learn how to make a few dishes myself.
I’ve started out my Greek adventure by making tzatziki sauce. This creamy condiment is often served with lamb or chicken on a pita with lettuce and tomatoes. Some people refer to tzakziki as “cucumber sauce” because of the fresh crunch that the veggie gives to the dish. All I know is this recipe is so simple and so delicious! I made baked pita chips to serve along side but will also use it as a topping for roasted veggies.
One of the great things about tzakziki sauce is that you can make it ahead of time, store it in the fridge and guess what…the flavors just get better over time. I made a beautiful bowl of sauce this morning and with friends stopping by later for drinks, it’s going to be the perfect appetizer to serve. Enjoy friends…Opa!
2 cups plain Greek yogurt
1 cucumber – peeled and seeded
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1/2 lemon – juiced
1 teaspoon salt
- Strain yogurt using a small mesh strainer & cheese cloth (can use paper towel) for 8 hours or overnight.
- Grate cucumber and squeeze out any additional liquid (wrap cucumber in paper towel and squeeze with hands)
- Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Cover and chill in refrigerator until ready to serve.
- garlic flavor will mellow after sauce is chilled.