cooking utensils

Salsa, Rumba & Tzatziki

Ahhh tzatziki…it’s only the best thing on the planet. No it is not a juju curse…nor is it a type of Latino dance (although I admit it does sound like it could be – Salsa, Rumba and Tzatziki?) It is a Greek yogurt based dish that is as refreshing as it is delicious, and it is especially delightful during the sticky days of summer. Extra bonus? It is HEALTHY (score!). I personally like to make tzatziki in bulk and store it for a few weeks, as most Greek yogurts usually give a good amount of time before expiration and it’s so versatile that I just like to have it in the fridge. Plus, I basically devour it on the reg. Speaking of versatility…you can use tzatziki for almost anything! Here are a few ideas – I’ll give you five – from yours truly: 1) serve it along side fish or chicken to add some extra flavoring; 2) add a dollop to rice or quinoa for added zing; 3) serve as a dip with pita, fresh veggies or chips; 4) use a salad dressing to get the “creamy feel” minus the unhealthy fat; 5) use as a replacement for sour cream (I swear, if you haven’t tried tzatziki on a baked potato, you haven’t lived). See? Didn’t I tell you it was versatile? Anyway, here is my special recipe…well actually it’s my mom’s but SHH!

Ingredients:

Greek Yogurt – 2 cups (My reco? Fage all the way) 
Cucumbers – 2 medium sized
Dill (fresh) – 2 tbsp. 
Lemon Juice – 1 tbsp.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil – 1 tbsp.
Fresh Garlic – 1 1/2 tsp. minced 
Sea Salt – 1 tsp + (to taste)
Pepper – to taste

Directions:

1) First things first – strain that yogurt baby! You can use an actual yogurt strainer or a cheesecloth if you like, but I usually just place the yogurt in a mesh colander and let it ride. Of course, place the colander in a bowl of sorts so that the liquid can actually drain from the yogurt. You’re going to want to let it sit for at least one to two hours. {Tip: No mesh colander? No worries – try a coffee filter instead, just make sure there is room for drainage (ew, did I just say drainage?!)}

2) Cut the cucumbers in half (long ways) and scoop the seeds out with a spoon and discard. Then, slice and dice the leftover cucumber into very small pieces. {I personally like my tzatziki on the chunky side, but some people feel totally different and even use food processors to make the cucumber very fine.}

3) Finely chop the dill. {Note, if you’re using the processor for #2, throw the dill in at the same time.)

4) Once the yogurt has been strained, add the cucumber and dill, as well as the remaining ingredients and stir. 

5) Place in the refrigerator for a bit to cool.

6) Serve, enjoy, and proceed like the Greek goddess you know you are. 😉 {Tip: Want to be fancy? Drizzle some EVOO over the tzatziki and serve with a sprig of mint on the top. Move over, Giada!)

Easy enough right? I sure hope you like this recipe as much as I do. What are some of your favorite side dishes for the summer?

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Leah Katsanis

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