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Cucumber and Yogurt Dip (aka Tzatziki)

Cucumber and Yogurt Dip (aka Tzatziki)

Cucumbers are bursting out of the gardens right now and can be made into so many refreshing summer eats… This simple Greek recipe combines the coolness of cucumber with creamy yogurt and dill. It’s simple and fresh and adds a nice flair to traditional summer faire.  Tzatziki makes a great dip for veggies and pita and pairs really well with hummus and olives.  It can also be used as a sauce for fish, meats and makes a mean sandwich spread.  Most people (even picky eaters) enjoy tzatziki once they give it a try.  Enjoy!

Yogurt and Cucumber Dip (aka Tzatziki)

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2  cups plain Greek yogurt (see note below for substitution)
  • 1 Cucumber, grated
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Grate your cucumber into a medium sized bowl (I use a regular cheese grater).  Some people peel and seed their cucumber first, but I don’t mind the extra texture.  It helps to allow your grated cucumber to sit for a couple minutes to draw out some of the water.  Pour off this liquid before adding the remaining ingredients and you’ll be rewarded with a thicker dip..
  • Add the yogurt, lemon juice, garlic and dill and stir until evenly combined.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste and refrigerate until serving.

Note: If you can’t find Greek yogurt, here are some possible substitutions:

  • The easiest fix is to substitute with sour cream for a good but slightly different flavor.
  • Alternately you you can make your own greek yogurt out of regular plain yogurt.  Line  a colander with a couple layers of cheesecloth. Place the lined colander over a bowl and pour about 3 cups of regular plain yogurt into the middle of the cheesecloth.  Strain over night (or for at least a few hours) and you’ll wind up with a hunk of thick greek yogurt and a bowl full of liquid whey.
  • Finally you can use regular plain yogurt but the tzatziki will be rather runny and not quite as flavorful.  This works more like a sauce than a dip.

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/aperte/4024380085/

One Response to “Cucumber and Yogurt Dip (aka Tzatziki)”

  1. Prashanth says:

    it’s really imoatrpnt to let the yogurt drain in a strainer lined with coffee filters for a few hours before starting. you do not want extra liquid in the sauce, which is why the recipes usually call for seeded cucumbers.

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