Tzatziki is one of my favorite things in the entire world. That may sound hyperbolic, but it’s true. I can’t get enough of it, and I partially blame my upbringing. I spent the first few years of my life on an Air Base in Crete; instead of chicken nuggets and ketchup, souvlaki and tzatziki were my early childhood staples. I have returned to Greece twice in the last five years and literally ate tzatziki each day. There is just something about a pile of creamy Greek yogurt infused with cool cucumber and zesty garlic that makes me want to eat the entire bowl. No crudité or crusty bread necessary–I eat it straight up.
My dad has been making tzatziki for years, it’s one of his trademark recipes (in addition to potato pancakes and steak and eggs). The key to an authentic tasting tzatziki is patience and time. After grating the cucumber, it’s best to let it drain on a paper towel for a few hours to eliminate as much liquid as possible. The only thing worse than a runny tzatziki is a flavorless tzatziki, which is why it tastes best after sitting overnight–or two.
16 ounces non-fat Greek Yogurt
1 English cucumber with skin, grated and drained
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Grate a full English cucumber; lay the cucumber shreds on a paper towel over a colander and let drain for several hours (at least 3-4).
2. In a bowl, combine the yogurt, olive oil, vinegar, crushed garlic, and salt and pepper. Whisk together, then add the cucumber. Mix well.
3. Refrigerate tzatziki in an air tight container overnight. Serve with toasted French bread, gluten-free bread, or veggies.