Cucumber-Garlic Yogurt Dip (Greek Tzatziki)
Makes about 1-1/2 cups
The first time I had this dip, it was prepared by a woman of Greek heritage. I had no idea what it was called, but it was so good. She told me that it was made with yogurt, cucumber and garlic. So, I went home and tried to duplicate it. I must admit that the first few times I made tzatziki, I used sour cream because I had it on hand and I was not a big fan of yogurt. It was still very good but, of course, not the same. Well, times have changed, and now I use yogurt more often than sour cream or mayonnaise in many of my recipes. I added the chives for color and a mild onion flavor, but they can be omitted since they are not traditional. You can use more or less garlic to taste. If you get an unwaxed or English cucumber, it does not need to be peeled. Greek yogurt is thicker and creamier than regular yogurt, but either will work. Serve tzatziki with vegetable crudites, crackers or pita wedges, which is in the similar and related links. It also makes a delicious condiment for sandwiches, or a sauce for seafood or meats, such as shrimp or lamb. However you serve this recipe, it is quick, easy, healthy and delicious.
- 1 medium cucumber, peeled, halved, seeded and cut into chunks
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt (I use nonfat)
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon freshly chopped chives (freeze-dried can be used, either is optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Place all of the ingredients in a processor. Process until smooth but retaining some texture. Taste for seasoning. If there is time, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to blend. If not, it can be served immediately.
Notes: Leftovers can be refrigerated for up to three days. If it appears watery, give it a good stir to recombine the yogurt.