It’s a bold thing to suggest that any recipe for tzatziki is an original and I don’t make that claim. It’s a classic sauce/accompaniment that has its origins in Greece but versions also appear in Turkish, Cypriot, and Persian cuisines. I owe what I know about making great tzatziki to both the wonderful Jamie Oliver and the gorgeous George Calombaris. I’ve never used a recipe so writing this down was a challenge in itself. But, with the summer weather here in Australia the hottest it’s been for many years, I was seeking something suitably cool and calming to make. We ate it with relish at our place.
Makes about 2 cups
2 small cucumbers
1 cup greek yogurt
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
sea salt and black pepper
extra virgin olive oil
Grate the cucumbers into a small bowl and sprinkle with about 1 teaspoon of salt. Let it sit for a few minutes and then squeeze firmly in your hands to extract all the liquid. Place the cucumber in another bowl and discard the liquid. Finely grate about 1/4 of the garlic clove into the cucumber and then the zest of 1/2 of the lemon. Add the mint leaves and the yoghurt and stir until well combined. Season to taste with sea salt and black pepper and then spoon into a serving bowl. Grate a little more lemon zest onto the top and then drizzle with a little olive oil. Serve with bread or crackers or with a simple host of Greek dishes.
Beautiful! Makes we want to grill some lamb, too!
Looks great Margaret! Never thought to grate the cucumbers; I always spent ages chopping them into little bits. This sounds like takes less time for making, more time for enjoying 🙂
thanks Francesca. Grating is a fairly new habit for me when making tzatziki, and it is much quicker. I also think squeezing the extra moisture out makes it a bit more luscious.
The best Greek food I ever had was in Ausralia. Very memorable souvlaki in each city I visited. Too bad it was 25 years ago, it is one of my favorite cuisines.
Thx for the recipe!
You are most welcome. My best Greek food experience was in Melbourne and I’m longing to visit more when I am next there. Lucky for me my work lets me travel there occassionally!