Refreshing, cool and creamy, this traditional Greek dip made with yoghurt and cucumber is tasty and versatile. It can be vegan or non-vegan depending on the type of yoghurt that you use. It is a perfect dish to serve during those hot summer months, when cucumbers are fresh; however, I make it all year round.
Tzatziki can be served as a dip with fresh cut vegetables, crisps or pita bread. It can also be used as a sauce or condiment with rice dishes, stir fries, grilled meat, or with tofu or vegetarian Buddha bowls. It goes well with baked potatoes, souvlakis or kebabs and adds flavour to sandwiches, burgers or wraps.
It is often used as a cooling dish for foods that are spicy. My way of making tzatziki is explained below.
Have a nice summer!
Cool Greek Tzatziki
- 11/2 large English cucumbers with skin, washed and grated
- 300-350 grams natural Greek or thick yoghurt, no sugar added (I used plant-based Greek Sojasun )
- 2-3 garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 tablespoons (tbsps) extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsps freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest (finely grated)
- 1 to 2 handfuls of fresh dill weed, finely chopped (can sub. with parsley or chives)
- Salt and ground pepper, to taste
1. In a medium-size bowl, grate the unpeeled cucumber with the large grates of a grater and sprinkle with a generous amount of salt and set aside for 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a separate medium-sized bowl, add the Greek yoghurt. Make sure to drain any liquid that can be found in certain types of yoghurt — it has to be thick.
3. Put the garlic cloves, olive oil and lemon juice in the bowl of a small blender or NutriBullet and blend for 7-10 seconds or until creamy and garlic cloves have dissolved. Mix this into the yoghurt until well combined. Note : To avoid those clumps of garlic in the dip and for better overall taste and texture, I highly recommend blending the cloves with the olive oil and lemon juice as opposed to chopping or grating the garlic.
4. Transfer the grated cucumber to a fine-meshed strainer with a bowl underneath to drain the liquid. Turn a glass upside down and press all over on the grated cucumber to squeeze out excess liquid.
5. Wash hands. Gather the cucumber in your hands and form a ball squeezing again more of the liquid into the bowl. You should now have a moist ball of grated cucumber that holds together.
6. Transfer the cucumber ball into the yoghurt mixture and mix this in with a fork until combined. Add the lemon zest, fresh dill (or other herbs), salt and pepper and mix again. Taste and adjust seasonings, zest or herbs.
7. For a flavourful, thick and creamy tzatziki, refrigerate the dip in a sealed container for 1 to 2 hours or even better, overnight. Mix with a fork before serving. Sprinkle top with red pepper flakes (option).