One of the most important reasons to visit Greece - Tzatziki. It is THAT GOOD!
No long story here. I went to Greece. And realized that every time I had tzatziki sauce before then, I had been straight up lied to. So, I created a recipe that reminds me of the fresh, savory spread that I had while in Athens. And, I used a mortar and pestle instead of a food processor, and I really liked the results. Wonderful, crisp but smooth texture, and the GARLIC is what gives it a kick. The whole time, I thought that Greeks were putting horseradish in their tzatziki to make is slightly spicy, but it is raw garlic that does the trick (I am pretty sure that our Greek expert, Seanan, told us this, but we didn’t believe her! LOL)
This is a small batch recipe – this is enough sauce for two people. Or, enough sauce for a single person to eat twice.
I cup strained cold plain greek yogurt – I sprung for the Fage, because I know that yogurt is a KEY component to this recipe.
1/3 English cucumber, seeded and peeled and cut into small cubes. The smaller the cubes, the easier they are to mash, but the more liquid you will have to drain – we’ll talk about that later.
2 cloves of garlic, mashed
2 teaspoons of fresh dill, or more, if you are feeling dill.
1 teaspoon of chopped fresh mint (optional). I prefer my tzatziki with mint, but it can be left out - increase the dill if you don't include mint.
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Dusting of lemon zest
Salt and pepper to taste
Put the cucumber in the mortar and pestle and mash until the mixture is slightly lumpy, and the cucumbers are mashed. Around 3 minutes. Drain ALL of the excess liquid from the bowl. Add the garlic cloves, and mash then into the cucumber until thoroughly mixed - there will be a little leftover liquid in the bowl, after this step. (Did I mention that this is a one dish recipe? YAY!)
Add the remaining ingredients (yogurt, dill, mint, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt and pepper), and using a spoon, combine all of the ingredients.
Chill until time to serve. This sauce is seriously PERFECTION on so many things. Meat, fish, raw veggies, wraps and gyros (of course), but honestly, my favorite way to eat tzatziki is directly on fresh baked bread. So. Freaking. Good!!!
Recipe Written by Elle Vincent for ellevincent.com