Monday, January 22, 2018

Homemade Tzatziki: A Taste of the Aegean





Inspired by the outstanding homemade Tzatziki that we enjoyed in Tarpon Springs a few weeks ago, with its perfect ratio of coarsely grated cucumber, thick Greek yogurt, fresh squeezed lemon juice and generous lashings of pungent pressed garlic, I relished the promise of perfecting my own tzatziki recipe. And it was, as my stepson says, "easy-peasey lemon squeezy". Excellent at the first 'go', allowing the tatziki to chill for a few hours or even overnight, makes the flavours more robust, however we did manage to finish off a whole bowl straight away with some lovely Grilled Mahi Mahi, for a true taste of the Aegean in the midst of Toronto's coldest winter on record. 



Homemade Tzatziki
Makes 1 cup 

1/2 English cucumber, seeded and grated with skin on
1 cup plain strained Greek yogurt
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp lemon juice
3 cloves garlic, pressed 
1/4 tsp Maldon salt


Slice the cucumber in half lengthways and scrape out the seeds. Grate the remaining cucumber, spread it out over a large tea towel and wrap it tight, leaving it at least 30 minutes until the grated cucumber is quite dry. 

In the meantime, peel and finely crush the garlic, then combine with the oil in a small bowl and allow to marinate for 10-15 minutes. Combine the cucumber with the garlic mixture, then stir through the yoghurt until evenly distributed along with a squeeze of lemon juice. Season with salt to taste. Serve with warm pita or alongside a Greek salad and grilled meats. Leftover tzatziki keeps well, chilled, for about 4 days.