greece figured some things out about cooking that most other countries should be jealous of. flaming cheese? phyllo dough? gyros? yeah, the list goes on.
they have all kinds of tasty spreads and sauces, too. tyrokavteri, taramosalata, avgolemono. but my preferences are like the highlander, which means that among greek sauces, there can only be one.
and you can bet your butt that tzatziki is an immortal katana-wielding scotsman. metaphorically. or something.
you might say, “but i don’t like garlic. but i don’t like cucumbers. but i don’t like yogurt.” and to that i might retort, “yeah, but you are wrong.”
- 4 or 5 cloves of garlic
- lemon juice
- a little bit of onion
- black pepper
- a cucumber
- olive oil
- take the plastic piece out of your coffee maker that holds the filter and set it on top of a cup. put a coffee filter in it, and then fill the coffee filter with yogurt. “why the heck am i putting yogurt in a coffee filter?” because water is tzatziki’s enemy, which is ironic because all of the ingredients in tzatziki are rife with it, including yogurt. you are putting the yogurt in a coffee filter because, in about twenty or thirty minutes, there will be one or two inches of lightly brown liquid in the bottom of that cup. and that lightly brown liquid would have ruined your sauce.
- cut the ends off the cucumber, and then mince it. yes, minced cucumber. i don’t really know any other recipes that call for it, but it is really dang tasty in this case. while you are at it, you might as well peel your garlic and mince that, too. and your onion. super finely minced is best, especially if you want to be able to squirt this bad boy out of a sauce bottle. once minced, put everything in a big bowl for mixing.
- give the veggies one or two hearty squirts of lemon juice followed by a spoonful of olive oil. add black pepper to taste, but not salt. salt will extract that water from the cucumbers and the onions, which is exactly the opposite of what you want to do.
- add the yogurt once it has finished draining, and then add in a little bit of salt at a time.
- this step is important. don’t stir this sauce like a madman. fold it over on itself gently over and over again, maybe with a rubber scraper of wooden spoon. over-activity can cause the salt to react with the yogurt and make the sauce watery. lemon juice and olive oil help a little bit with that, but it is still best to be careful.
- put it on anything. seriously, it is great on salad, great on meats, great on fish, great on crackers, and you can even eat the stuff with a spoon if you want. my advice to you is to make relatively small batches, because it doesn’t keep for a super long time and you will be tempted to put it on everything. and as delicious as that may be, the people in close proximity to you on a daily basis will not appreciate your heinous garlicy odor.
makes enough sauce for 2 or 3 meals