I learned this recipe from Jennifer at Sewn Natural Studios and have been making it to use up excess garden produce ever since. If you live in warmer regions of the US you may even still have some cucumbers and zucchini lingering in the garden. The recipe calls for cucumber, but zucchini works quite well too, and it’s always nice to have another zucchini recipe up your sleeve.
This tzatziki goes particularly well with heavier foods like meat. I also like a dense, rustic bread dipped in it. Grilled chicken and fish are the classic pairings, but you can also slather it on sandwiches. It’s great with hummus and spicy sprouts, or with turkey and avocado. Or try topping a curry with a dollop of tzatziki. The cool cucumbers and yogurt are a nice counterpart to warming spices.
I love finding good recipes for dips and sauces. They make food taste indulgent and exciting and often tempt my children into gobbling their dinner all up. It’s easy to pick up sauces from the store, but so often they’re high in sugar and salt, not to mention a whole host of un-pronounce-ables! Whipping up a big batch of tzatziki gives me a little something to dress up dinners and lunches with and instead of being a compromise, it’s actually beneficial. Consuming probiotics (in the yogurt) with your meal is so great for digestion and overall health. I’m thrilled when my kids ask for more!
- 1-2 cucumbers cut up small or shredded, then drained
- 1.5-2 cups plain yogurt drain it to thicken, or use Greek
- dash red wine vinegar or lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 TBSP fresh dill
- mint and oregano add to taste
- salt and pepper to taste
- Making tzatziki is seriously easy. Just slice up a few large cucumbers (peeled and seeded if you’d like, though I don’t bother). Squeeze as much water out of the cucumber as possible. You can salt it and set it in a colander to drain if you have time to wait. Otherwise, just squeeze with your hands. Putting it all in a cheesecloth and squeezing and twisting is really effective too.
- Meanwhile, place at least 2 cups of yogurt over a clean dish towel or cheesecloth to drain. To skip this step you could just start with a nice thick yogurt like Greek yogurt.
- In a large bowl fold your cucumbers into the yogurt, adding a dash of red wine vinegar (or lemon juice). Add a few cloves of minced garlic, at least 1 Tbsp of fresh dill (or about 1/2 tsp dry dill), some mint and oregano. Some people prefer to use fennel instead of dill but I adore dill and use it any chance I get. Finally, add salt and pepper to taste.