Once you master making tzatziki at home, you’ll find yourself reaching for it for everything (as a dip, in place of mayonnaise, with salmon, as a marinade for chicken before grilling, tossed with roast veg, instead of mayonnaise on potato salad, as a salad dressing, etc.)
Cucumbers are full of water, which is no doubt what makes them so refreshing. Unfortunately once mixed with acidic ingredients like yogurt and lemon juice, cucumber starts releasing moisture — making a once-creamy sauce watery. The trick for preventing this is to remove the water from the cucumber before adding it to the sauce. Grate your cucumber on the large holes of a box grater onto a piece of muslin. Then pick up the sides and make a tight bundle around the cucumber. Squeeze out as much moisture as possible from the cucumber. I MYSELF PREFER PEELING THE CUCUMBER, REMOVING THE SEEDS AND CHOPPING IT FINELY!
If using English cucumbers, you have no need to peel them, as their skin is fine – neither should you have to seed them. I’d recommend peeling thicker skin cucumbers and seeding them before either grating or finely chopping. Prepare your Tzatziki at least an hour before you plan on serving it. The flavour gets even better overnight, so if you’ve got the time, prepare it the night before you plan to serve it.
Ingredients (Makes 1½ cups)
250g / 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
60ml / ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 2 large lemons)
5g / ¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh dill fronds
5g / ¼ cup fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 medium cucumber
Place the yogurt, lemon juice, dill, mint, oil, garlic, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl and stir to combine.
If you want to grate the cucumber: Lay a clean piece of muslin on a cutting board and grate the cucumber on the large holes of a box grater onto the muslin. Remove the grater and gather the towel around the grated cucumber to form a bundle. Working over the sink, wring the muslin to remove as much liquid from the cucumber as possible. Otherwise just peel the cucumber, remove the seeds with a teaspoon and finely chop.
Fold the cucumber into the yogurt mixture to combine.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
• Storage: Tzatziki can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.