Tzatziki is a yogurt-cucumber sauce or dip which is often served in Greek restaurants in Germany (where it is spelled Tsatsiki). In addition to being served in restaurants, tzatziki and has found its way into German backyard barbecue and party culture.
This yogurt-cucumber mixture is fresh, savory and easy to make. It’s a good accompaniment to spicy and/or grilled meats, fried eggplant or zucchini and it’s tasty on falafel and gyros. In Germany, it's eaten on bread. The yield for this tzatziki recipe is for two, but it easily can be doubled or tripled.
- 1 cup Greek yogurt (or yogurt cheese, start with 1 1/2 cups)
- 1 cup cucumber (shredded, about 1/2 of a cucumber)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons olive oil (extra-virgin)
- Garnish: dill
- If you do not have Greek yogurt (very thick yogurt), line a colander with paper towels and place plain yogurt into it. Cover with more paper towels to drain excess liquid for 15 minutes or longer.
- Shred half a cucumber, place in a colander, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste and let sit for 15 minutes. Press excess liquid out.
- In a small bowl, mix together 1 cup Greek yogurt or yogurt cheese, shredded and pressed cucumber, 2 minced cloves garlic, 1 teaspoons lemon juice and 2 teaspoons olive oil. Refrigerate until ready to serve. The longer it sits, the more the garlic melds with the other ingredients. If the sauce looks runny, stir the liquid back in.
- The German presentation is to garnish with sprigs of fresh dill or chopped fresh dill or drizzle with a little extra-virgin olive oil over the dish.