You’ve probably tried tzatziki on your souvlaki wrap from Mr. Greek, or at least hear of the the delicious Greek dip that pairs well with pitas, souvlaki, and just about anything. Greek cuisine has a few native dips (hummus is not Greek), tzatziki being the most famous (in my mind at least). At family dinners, we make large salad bowl amount of tzatziki; it’s generally the first thing to go. The key to good tzatziki is advanced preparation. If you have a function on Saturday let’s say, you’ll want to start preparing it Friday evening. The earlier, the better.
1 large cucumber
4 cloves of garlic crushed
1 large tub of plain 1% yogurt
1 tablespoon crumbled feta
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 coffee filters
2 large bowls
Directions Part I: The Night Before
Place a coffee filter in a sieve, in one of the large bowls. Pour the yogurt into this filter. You may need more than one coffee filter to accommodate all the yogurt. That’s okay though, you can put more than one coffee filter of yogurt next to the other, given that there is enough space in the sieve. Place this bowl with the yogurt in the fridge. Make sure there is a few inches of space between the sieve and the bottom of the bowl. The yogurt will drain. This is the key to Greek yogurt (straining all the liquid from the yogurt is the process that makes it “Greek”).
The first half of part I is complete. Next, peel and rinse the cucumber. Slice the cucumber vertically, in half from top to bottom. Remove the seeds from each half. A quick way to do this is to take a tablespoon and run it along the seed line. Grate each half into a coffee filter. Again, place the coffee filter into a sieve, and set it into a bowl. Sprinkle the tablespoon of salt over the cucumber. It may seem like a lot of salt, but it will enhance the flavour of the cucumber. The salt also helps dry out the cucumber faster. Leave in the fridge over night. The key to good tzatziki is dry ingredients, you want to drain as much liquid as possible out of the yogurt and cucumber.
Directions Part II: Combining Ingredients
The cucumber and yogurt have drained over night. In a large bowl, combine the filtered yogurt and cucumber. Peel three cloves of raw garlic. Crush the garlic into the bowl with the yogurt and cucumber, stir. Add the tablespoon of crumbled feta. This should be strained and rinsed as well before adding to the mix. Again, stir. Drizzle a fancy spiral of olive oil on top and serve. Serve at the time of appetizers with pitas cut into quarters, and keep on the table during the main course. Hopefully your guests will love it on the side with some bread, or chicken, or meat… or hey, throw some in the salad, I do that all the time.