Everyone in my family loves tzatziki. This version incorporates red wine vinegar rather than lemon juice, which is apparently the way it is typically prepared in Greece. I normally use chopped cucumbers but really enjoyed the texture of the grated cucumbers in this dish.
We ate it with warm naan and grillled chicken kebabs. A perfect summer dinner! This recipe was adapted from Milk Street, contributed by Courtney Hill. I modified the proportions. I also prepared the tzatziki in advance and kept it chilled in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Wonderful.
Yield: about 2 cups
- 1 European seedless cucumber, halved crosswise
- coarse salt
- 1 cup plain whole-milk or low-fat Greek yogurt (I used 2 percent Greek yogurt)(see Tip)
- 4 T (1/4 cup) extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 2 medium to large garlic cloves, finely grated or pushed through a garlic press
- 1 T chopped fresh mint, plus more for garnish
- 2 T chopped fresh dill, plus more for garnish
- 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- Set a colander in a medium bowl, then set a box grater in the colander.
- Grate the cucumber halves on the grater’s large holes, rotating and grating only down to the seedy core. Discard the cores. (Make sure that you don’t shred the cores as the seeds are watery and have a slight bitterness and unappealing texture.)
- Sprinkle the shredded cucumber with 1 teaspoon salt and toss. Set aside to drain for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk the yogurt, oil, garlic, mint, dill and vinegar.
- A handful at a time, squeeze the shredded cucumber to remove as much liquid as possible, then set on a cutting board; reserve 1 teaspoons of the cucumber liquid.
- Finely chop the squeezed cucumber, then stir into the yogurt mixture.
- Stir in the reserved cucumber liquid and 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt.
- Transfer to a serving bowl, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with additional mint and dill, as desired.
Tip: Don’t use nonfat Greek yogurt. Without any fat, the flavor of the tzatziki is weak and thin.