Tzatziki sauce is usually served as a dip or with grilled meats. If you are visiting Balkans, Greece, or Turkey the tzatziki sauce is definitely one of the things you will try, but under different names – tzatziki which is a Greek word for this sauce is the most popular term (also: Turkish cacık and tarator in many Balkan countries).
It is made of salted strained yogurt (from goat or sheep milk) or diluted yogurt combined with cucumbers, salt, garlic, olive oil, sometimes with lemon juice or vinegar, and some herbs like thyme, parsley, mint, dill, etc. Tzatziki sauce is served cold and it is a great refreshment in summer. Here is the recipe:
Servings 12; yield: 3 ½ cups
- 3 cups Greek yogurt
- 1 large (long, skinny one) cucumber
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice (or juice of 1/2 lemon)
- 1 teaspoon salt (plus extra to taste)
- 1 teaspoon fresh dill or 1 teaspoon fresh mint, chopped (or both, depending on preference)
- A pinch of freshly ground black pepper (optional)
- olive oil, to drizzle (optional)
- Peel the cucumber and cut with a knife on a few pieces. Next, sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of salt and place the cucumber pieces in a colander or on a towel in order to draw water out, and cover with a plate. Allow sitting for 10-15 minutes. Drain and wipe dry with a paper towel.
- Then, use a grater to grate the cucumber, and combine it with the garlic, lemon juice, herb(s) and black pepper (if using) – or you make it easier and use blender or food processor to process the cucumber, and mix it with the remaining ingredients.
- Next, stir into yogurt and taste before adding any extra salt (if needed).
- To finish, drizzle the olive oil over the sauce (if using).
- Serve immediately or refrigerate so flavors can blend. (You can keep it in the fridge for no longer than 12 hours).