Thursday, March 17, 2011

Tzatziki...something Greek for Saint Patrick's day

If you want to seed your cucumber, cut it like this and scoop out the seeds with a spoon.


I wish I had an Irish recipe to share with you today, but I don' Greek will have to do. Plus, there are cucumbers in this and they are green so that has to count for something right? Also, if you are looking for an Irish soda bread recipe check out my recipe from last year.

"Greek" is such a great word. I love that it is so rhyme-able. Greek, week, peek, leek, seek...on and on it goes. My favorite Greek joke is..."What do you get when someone from Greece and France have a baby? A Freak!" Ha, I love it! Many of my friends have traveled to Greece and they all rave about how awesome and beautiful it is. One day I will travel there, wear white and blue, ride a Donkey into the villages while I eat feta cheese on a stick, and then randomly yell "Opa!" at people on the street. Good times will be had by all.

Someone who shall not be named...(cough, cough, Brigid: ) asked me a while ago if I had a recipe for Tzatziki. At that time I did not, but was challenged to find one that I liked. I totally lucked out with a winner on the first try. This is a great sauce/dressing that can be used in many ways. You can dip meat, vegetables, or warm pitas in it; you can serve it as a sauce over spicy meat or vegetables; you can stuff it in a pita or a sandwich, or you can use it as a salad dressing. Every time I make this I feel like I am at a spa, all those cucumbers are so refreshing and the yogurt just tastes healthy. We ate half of this right away and then finished it off the next day...both days it was scrumdiliocious!

adapted from Ina Garten

16oz Greek plain yogurt
1 large cucumber

1 TBS Kosher salt

1/2 cup sour cream
1 TBS white wine vinegar (or rice wine vinegar...or really any vinegar you have will do)
2 TBS Lemon juice
1 TBS Olive oil
1 1/2 tsp chopped garlic
1 1/2 tsp chopped Fresh dill (or 1/2 tsp of dried dill) (This is optional)

(Ina says to not peel the cucumber, then cut it in half lengthwise and seed it. I opted to peel it, and not seed it.) Grate the cucumber and toss it with the salt in a colander. Cover lightly and place in fridge for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, mix together the remaining ingredients. Take the cucumber and salt out of the fridge and squeeze the excess juices out of it by pressing down on it with a paper towel. Toss the cucumber with the rest of the ingredients. You can eat this right away, but personally I think it is much better after sitting in the fridge for a few hours and letting the flavors combine more thoroughly. Store in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Usually I make this along with some grilled chicken and eat it on top a nice salad with tomatoes.
For the chicken I marinate 1 pound of chicken with 3 TBS lemon juice, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/2 tsp kosher salt, some black pepper, a pinch of cayenne, and sometimes some dill or rosemary. I let this marinate for a few hours in the fridge or overnight, then grill or pan fry. Enjoy!!!


  1. Dagny, this sounds amazing! Will have to try it soon.

  2. I love tzatziki - it's so refreshing! This would be a perfect spring/summer dip.