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.

3-4 servings
1 6 oz. container of Fage yogurt
3 cloves minced garlic
1/2 a cucumber, peeled, shredded and squeezed dry in paper towels
Olive oil
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.


oneshotbeyond said...

clever presentation!

Beth said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Vitania said...

HI there, Found you through tastespotting. I absolutely have to add you to my blog - as well as this recipe !

I never thought to squeeze out the cucumbers and mine always seems a little runny. I can't wait to try it this way.

I will let you now when I post.
must check out more..


DrBoodleQuakers said...

Tzatziki is great...fairly low fat and tasty. But mine always suffered until I found the two tricks. One is as you mentioned...shred the cucumbers and squeeze them dry. But the other is...line a colander with a couple paper towels, then pour the yogurt all in. Place that over a plate or bowl in the fridge for a couple hours. The yogurt leaches water out and takes on an ice cream like consistency. It also sweetens the flavor a little. Then combine with your ingredients. I think you'll enjoy it even more.

Ninette said...

If you use Fage Greek yogurt or a combination of yogurt and sour cream, you don't have to drain the yogurt. But if you're using only American yogurt, draining it is a good option.

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Anonymous said...

Why the long ass back story? Good recipe tho

Ninette said...

My blog is about my life through food. You can skip the story and go straight to the recipe.