What would a food blog from a Greek dude be without touching upon Tzatziki? I’ve been disappointed with the representation of Greek food in North America and in particular, Toronto. I found that once very good Greek eateries are going the way of serving pre-made foods & dips on their menus. Tzatziki has fallen victim to this drive for competitiveness and frankly, laziness.
Here’s the classic Tzatziki from a Greek, with little secret….
You will need:
- 500 gr. of plain yogurt
- 1-2 cloves of minced garlic (depending how garlicky you like it)
- 1/2 English cucumber, seeded and grated
- 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill
- splash of Ouzo
- squeeze of lemon juice to taste
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
A good Tzatziki requires that you use strained yogurt. If you have a Greektown in your city, you can pay more & buy it strained or, go my way and take your plain yogurt and dump in a metal strainer with a pot underneath to catch the draining liquid. You’ll need at least 12 hours for the final thick, strained result.
Next step is to take your cucumber and seed it then box grate it into the strainer. Sprinkle some salt to help draw out the moisture. Give the cucumber 30 minutes and use a cheese cloth or your hands (in batches) to squeeze out the water.
Add your grated cucumber to the yogurt and now add 1-2 cloves of minced garlic, your chopped dill, season with salt to taste, squeeze of lemon juice, the olive oil and lastly, a splash of Ouzo….yes Ouzo. It gives your Tzatziki that “je ne sais quoi”!
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