Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Tzatziki (Greek cucumber sauce)
I had my first introduction to Greek food when I lived in New York City in my mid-20s. Friend Rob Gotti worked in the McGraw Hill building, and I worked a couple blocks away on 57th Street next to Carnegie Hall. We would meet for a cheap lunch, grabbing a souvlaki pork on pita from a street vendor, complete with tomatoes, onions, a slathering of tzatziki (cucumber sauce) and a couple shots of hot sauce.
I still order Greek food from a local place, and I also make Greek-style food at home. The tzatziki is easy to make and is a delicious accompaniment to grilled meats. All you need to do is mix yogurt, minced garlic, shredded and drained cucumber, olive oil, lemon or red wine vinegar and salt and pepper. Fage Greek yogurt is now widely available in grocery stores now and is perfect to use for this sauce. If you still can't find it, you can use sour cream or a combination of sour cream and yogurt.
Most recently, I made the tzatziki to accompany a Greek-style pork tenderloin and orzo with tomatoes, feta, and mint. Delicious.
1 6 oz. container of Fage yogurt
3 cloves minced garlic
1/2 a cucumber, peeled, shredded and squeezed dry in paper towels
Salt and pepper
A shot of lemon or a little red wine vinegar
Mix together above ingredients. Refrigerate at least 20 minutes so the flavors can soften and meld together.
Clockwise from top left: Cucumber, peeled and seeded; shredded cucumber; squeezing cucumber dry with changes of paper towel (you can also use dish towels); tub of Fage yogurt with minced garlic, cucumber, a couple shots of lemon juice, a spoonful of extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. While not pictured, you can also add a little fresh dill.