- 2 cups strained yogurt, or use commercially available Greek yogurt
- 1 English cucumber
- 2 cloves garlic (or a little bit more if you are fond of garlic and have plenty of mouthwash on hand)
- salt and pepper to taste
- juice of half a lemon
- 2 or 3 mint leaves, chopped (don't use too much mint)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, and a bit more to drizzle on top for garnish
- Place the yogurt in a medium sized bowl.
- Peel the cucumber and cut it in quarters lenghwise. Remove any large seeds and discard them. Chop the cucumber in small dice. Let it rest for a few minutes in a colander so that its excess liquid drains. You can help this process along by using a paper towel to press down on the cucumber. Dry the cucumber in paper towels and then incorporate it into the yogurt.
- Peel the garlic and chop it finely. Add it to the yogurt.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. You have now created tzatziki!
- Pour the tzatziki into a nice serving bowl and drizzle some olive oil on top for garnish.
- You can also garnish with some dill or mint or little pieces of cucumber... whatever tickles your fancy. A radish garnish will be nice. Olives tend to discolor the yogurt so I don't use them as garnish.
- Here are some hints about making tzatziki: Always use strained yogurt. What is sold as "Greek Yogurt" is in essence strained yogurt. Straining removes some of the water content and the whey, and gives yogurt a thicker consistency. (Traditionally yogurt was hung for a few hours inside a cloth bag made of muslin, and that got rid of the extra liquid). So you want a thick yogurt, and also, if you want to have the full, rich taste of tzatziki, don't use the low fat variety. Tzatziki can be stored in the refrigerator for about a week. Storing it intensifies the flavor of the garlic, so you might not want to use a large amount of garlic in your recipe.