I’ve had a continuous supply of homemade tzatziki going in the fridge now for the past month or so. Every batch I make seems to disappear faster than the one before, so ongoing production has become necessary (I can’t prove it but I suspect that the cucumber vendors at the market have started price fixing on me).
Exquisite in its simplicity, tzatziki is a seasoned Greek sauce made from yogurt, cucumber, garlic and lemon. (A heavenly marriage if ever there was). Light and creamy, tangy and garlicky, satisfying and delicious, homemade tzatziki is truly a summer favorite.
This delightful sauce is served cold and often in the company of grilled meats such as the classic souvlaki but there’s no need to stop there. You can enjoy tzatziki on virtually anything. Pair it with fish, eggs, a variety of salads, as a base in sandwiches and wraps or simply indulge by the tablespoonful! The creamy nature of this yogurt-cucumber dip is also perfect for dunking fresh chopped vegetables or delicious pita wedges.
On a hot California day, some homemade tzatziki on flatbread with plump sprouts, a generous handful of greens and silky avocado is all I need for lunch.
- For the Tzatziki Dip
- 1 English cucumber (or 2 ish smaller garden variety cucumbers), peeled and finely diced, seeded or not (see Notes)
- 2 cups plain Greek yogurt
- 3-5 cloves of garlic, smashed, salted and finely chopped
- 4 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp lemon zest
- 2 tsp coarse ground dijon mustard (the wet kind)
- 1 tsp honey
- 2 Tbsp fresh chopped dill or parsley
- 1 Tbsp fresh chopped mint
- Good pinch sea salt and coarse black pepper to taste
- For the Flatbread & Toppings
- 1 cup sprouts of choice, I used clover
- ½ cup microgreens or any greens!
- 1 avocado, diced
- 8 flatbreads of choice, I used Open Nature sesame flatbread
- In a roomy bowl, mix together yogurt, cucumber, garlic, lemon, mustard and honey, whisking/ mixing with a spoon to combine (do not be tempted to use a blender, it will ruin the tzatziki - you want a nice chunky consistency without excess water).
- Add herbs as well as salt and pepper to taste, sample and adjust seasonings as desired.
- Spoon a couple tablespoons of tzatziki onto crackers (or surface of choice) and top with fresh sprouts, greens and avocado. You can also enjoy on virtually anything that comes off the grill!
- Store any remaining tzatziki in a sealed container in the fridge. It will keep well for up to 5 days ish.
Seasonings: The seasonings for tzatziki vary quite a bit. The most common ones you'll come across are fresh dill, parsley and mint. Sometimes a dash of oregano powder is added. I have also subed herbes de provence (dry) on occasion. You can play around with these herbs to determine what you like best.
Why Greek Yogurt?: I favour Greek yogurt for its exceptional protein content (and gorgeous texture). All yogurts, regardless of milk fat content, begin the same way - by adding bacterial cultures to milk. Greek yogurt begins this way but it soon departs from other yogurt brands in that the milk is strained to remove the liquid whey. According to manufacturers, this process of straining means that as many as four pounds of milk are required to produce one pound of Greek yogurt. The resulting product is a far more concentrated source of protein (from casein) and a thick and creamy texture characteristic of Greek yogurt (regardless of fat content - even zero fat Greek yogurt has a gorgeous creamy-like texture reminiscent of sour cream). You will pay more for Greek yogurt but I think you will find that you get what you pay for.
Micro greens: I marvel at the array of fresh and beautiful greens that surround us here in the Golden State. Local micro greens that are said to have originated here. Smaller than baby greens (they are really tiny and delicate yet perfect in their formation) micro greens provide a spectrum of leaf flavors, from sweet to spicy and peppery. They are also known for their diverse colors and textures adding not only flavor but visual beauty to sandwiches, salads and recipes generally. You'll occasionally find them in grocery stores when seasonal and usually at markets.