A creamy and refreshing tzatziki with garlic and lemon.
Today we are making a creamy and delicious authentic Greek tzatziki. Summer is the perfect time to make this refreshing dish because it pairs so well with grilled vegetables and meat. Digging into a bowl of slightly chilled tzatziki is one of the best things you can do in the summertime! (Well that and make this pretty lavender limeade.) Making a traditional tzatziki is not only easy, it also comes together very quickly. Make this for your next bbq and watch your guest crowd around the bowl!
Tzatziki is a huge deal in my family. It is brought with and eaten at almost every family get together we have. Whenever we’d plan a party the first question would usually be, who’s bringing the tzatziki? The job would mostly fall on my dad or brother since they are usually given the ‘simpler’ recipes. They would of course (like a true man does) make a batch to feed an army. If only I’d have a picture to show you. I’m talking huge bowls filled with delicious and creamy tzatziki. (Not that anyone in the family would ever complain about too much tzatziki!) If we had leftovers, which didn’t happen often, they’d be packaged and given with to guests like leftover cake. It’s ridiculous. I notice how crazy this all sounds typing it up for you. But you know what they say…old habits die hard.
Why are we so strangely obsessed with this Greek dish? We aren’t even Greek for God’s sake! However, we spent the majority of our family vacations on the beach in Greece. We’d always grab our lunch at a typical Greek tavern….and you guessed it, it would always include tzatziki. I remember the traditional Greek tzatziki the waiter served us vividly. It had olive oil swimming on the top and usually olives as decor. It never included dill. Depending on the region and the restaurant, tzatziki is a bit different. Some add dill, some add lemon juice, there are various ways to enjoy it.
The star of this recipe is the creamy Greek yoghurt but that isn’t complete without a refreshing grated cucumber. Since cucumber contains a lot of water and we do not want to water down our tzatziki, it is important to follow an additional step before adding the grated cucumber to the yoghurt. After grating the cucumber, place it into a sieve over a bowl and salt it generously. You will notice the cucumber will start to release its water. This is due to the salt literally pulling out the water. You also want to help that process by squeezing out any additional water from the cucumber. Now it’s ready for the yoghurt!
The best way to enjoy tzatziki is alongside grilled foods such as veggie or meat skewers, garlic bread and grilled cheese. Or you can enjoy it in the traditional fashion with fluffy white pita bread! Have you ever tried tzatziki? What’s your favourite way to enjoy it? Let me know!
Whenever we’d make it at home we’d always add a ton of garlic. It was way more pungent than anything we’d eat at the restaurant. The garlic taste was like a punch in the face. If you didn’t like spicy, you didn’t like my family’s tzatziki. My husband actually gave this phenomenon a name. He calls it ‘Eilen spicy’ (Eilen is my maiden name.) However, for today’s recipe I am moving away from that tradition. I think most people would enjoy their tzatzki more with about half the amount I usually add in. Do not be mistaken however, this is still a garlicky tzatziki.
If you give this tzatztiki a try, let me know in the comment section below! Also be sure to tag your creations with #homebakedbliss on Instagram so I can see them!
- 1 English cucumber
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 800g Greek yoghurt (1.8lbs)
- 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- optional, mint or dill
- optional, Kalamata olives
- Wash and grate the cucumber. Place it into a sieve above a bowl and season it with 1 teaspoon salt. Let it sit for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, squeeze as much of the water out of the cucumber as you can and discard the water. Combine the grated cucumber with the rest of the ingredients.
- Garnish with mint or dill and Kalamata olives and drizzle with additional olive oil.
- Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.