One taste of tzatziki floods my palate with memories of Greece. It was part of the meze served at every meal. The texture of the grated cucumber against the thick, tangy Greek yogurt is a perfect contrast. Because of the recent interest in Mediterranean cooking and diet, Greek yogurt is now widely available. If you can’t find it locally, try researching “Greek food” online, and you’re sure to find a source that will deliver beautiful Greek yogurt right to your door.
Total Timea day or more
Make Ahead RecipeYes
OccasionBuffet, Cocktail Party
Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegetarian
Taste and Texturecreamy, herby, tangy
- 1 large hothouse cucumber, peeled
- Coarse salt and freshly ground white pepper
- 2 cups Greek yogurt
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill
- Warm pita bread triangles for serving
Line a colander with a double layer of cheesecloth. Place the colander over a bowl deep enough to catch draining juices without the juices touching the bottom of the colander. Set aside.
Using a box grater, grate the cucumber through the medium holes into a mixing bowl. Add a pinch of salt and toss to combine. Transfer the cucumber to the colander and allow the juices to drain for 1 hour. Pull the cheesecloth up and twist the ends together to squeeze any remaining juice from the cucumber. Transfer the well-drained cucumber to a clean nonreactive container with a lid.
Add the yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, mint, and dill. Season with salt and pepper to taste and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight before serving.
Serve chilled with warm pita bread triangles.
2006 James T. Botsacos Jr.