Tzatziki is a traditional Greek appetizer sauce based on yogurt with grated cucumber and garlic. It has a very fresh taste reminiscent of summer, picnics, fresh vegetables and barbecues.
An interesting feature of tzatziki is that it is both a sauce and a separate dish. As a sauce, dzadiki can be served with grilled fish, meat, and used as a salad dressing. In Greece, it is served with gyros, the Greek equivalent of kebab, and souvlkaki, chicken (and more) kebabs on wooden skewers.
But more often, tzatziki is served as part of a meze, a set of appetizers, before the main course. With pita, bread and/or vegetables.
In addition to the main ingredients, I added lemon juice and dill to the sauce to further emphasize its freshness.
- 300 g (10,6 oz) of Greek yogurt, 8-12% fat
- 150 g (5,3 oz) cucumbers (~ half a long cucumber)
- 3 garlic cloves
- 15 ml (1 tbsp) lemon juice (~ juice of half a lemon)
- zest of half lemon
- dill sprig
- 1-2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
I prepare the tzatziki immediately in the dish in which I am going to serve it. It’s faster and less messy.
Grate the zest of half a lemon on a fine grater and add to the yogurt.
Squeeze the juice of half a lemon into the yogurt. I put my palm up and squeeze the lemon onto it. The juice runs through my fingers, and the pips stay in my hand. We throw them away.
In a separate bowl, grate 150 grams (5,3 oz) of cucumber on a coarse grater.
Squeeze the cucumber from the excess juice and add to the yogurt.
Peel and finely chop 3 cloves of garlic. Add to the yogurt.
Tear off the dill stems and finely chop them with a knife. Use the stems in other dishes or discard them. Add the chopped dill to the dish.
Stir and add 1-2 tbsp of olive oil. If the yogurt is low-fat and quite liquid – add less oil, if thick – more. Salt with a pinch of salt, stir and taste. Add more salt if necessary.
Traditionally, zajiki uses a small amount of salt and tastes unsalted. Make it according to your taste. If it tastes good without salt or with a little salt, leave it as it is. If it tastes good without or with a little salt, leave it as it is.
Serve with vegetables and pita bread cut into triangles. For example, prepared according to this recipe. You can also serve zajaki with meat or fish, dress a salad, or eat the whole plate with a spoon.
Tzatziki — Greek yogurt based fresh dip
- 300 g greek yogurt (8-12% fat)
- 150 g cucumber (~ half a large cucumber)
- 3 cloves garlic
- 15 ml lemon juice (~ half a medium lemon)
- 1/2 lemon zest
- 1 stalk dill
- 15-30 ml olive oil (extra virgin, 1-2 ст.л.)
- Grate the zest of half a lemon on a fine grater and add to the yogurt.
- Squeeze the juice of half a lemon into the yogurt.
- Peel and finely chop 3 cloves of garlic and dill greens (just the greens). Add to the yogurt.
- In a separate bowl, grate 150 grams of cucumber on a coarse grater.Squeeze the cucumber from the excess juice and add to the yogurt.
- Stir and pour in 1-2 tbsp olive oil. Salt to taste.