Tzatziki is what I make when I have extra dill and cucumber on my hands, which is exactly where I found myself after making my lentil salad.
I actually hadn't made tzatziki since university, but as I remember it, it's fairly easy to put together - diced cucumber, crushed cloves of garlic, dill, a squeeze of lemon juice, a splash of olive oil and yogurt...
I knew it was going to be bad news when I came home to find that the cucumbers I'd salted and left in a colander in the fridge to leach out its moisture that Mama T had neatly placed it in a saran-wrapped bowl (and that they were swimming in their own juices). I also wasn't able to find any of the new Liberté 0% Greek Yogurt people seem to be raving about (I did find their Meditarranée, which is a whopping 10% milk fat) and even though Bles-Wold yogurt is delicious, natural and local (!) It's thinner than the Greek stuff and I didn't prepare with a cheesecloth (or paper towel and strainer) beforehand.
I tried blitzing everything except the yogurt in the Magic Bullet, but it wouldn't budge - long story short, the tzatziki came out runny.
How do you keep your tzatziki thick and creamy? With proper preparation, the drain-out-the-cucumber-and-yogurt methods have worked for me in the past. Everyone else seems to suggest grating your cucumber and squeezing it dry between paper towels (which is a good idea because then you don't have to douse it in salt), then mincing the other ingredients and stirring it into the yogurt. In retrospect, adding just enough yogurt into the food processor just so that everything mixes up might work; then stirring the resulting puree into the rest of the yogurt. Hmm...
Despite its runniness, the tzatziki still served well as a dip for carrots and Triscuits when B. and I were hanging out at the park two weekends ago - the yogurt hides nice little chunks of cooling cucumber and spicy garlic; I like my tzatziki (just as I like most things, really.) with a kick.
Makes about 2 cups
- ½ English cucumber, unpeeled and diced
- 1 tsp (5 mL) salt
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- ¼ cup (60 mL) fresh dill, roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice
- 1 cup (250 mL) Greek yogurt or plain yogurt*
- Toss English cucumber and salt together to coat. Place salted cucumber in a colander to allow water to leach out for at least an hour, then squeeze dry using paper towels or a clean tea towel.
- Place cucumber, garlic, dill, olive oil and lemon juice into food processor or blender. If you are using Greek yogurt or strained plain yogurt, it should be ok to add that in too. If not, add just enough yogurt so that the food processor/blender doesn't get stuck and stir in the rest of the yogurt at the end. Blend until ingredients are combined. Add salt and pepper to taste.
*If you can't find Greek yogurt, you may strain any plain yogurt by leaving it in a cheesecloth- (or paper towel) lined strainer placed over a bowl in the fridge overnight.
- Grate English cucumber onto a paper towel or cheesecloth and squeeze dry. Mince garlic and dill.
- Stir cucumber, garlic, dill, olive oil and lemon juice into yogurt. Add salt and pepper to taste.Nutrition Info (per ¼ cup using salted cucumbers and low-fat yogurt): 51 calories, 2 g fat (0.6 g saturated), 1 mg cholesterol, 6 g carbohydrate (1 g fibre, 3 g sugar), 2 g protein, 313 mg sodium.