6.20.2010

Tzatziki

Do you  have a favorite recipe for Tzatziki? Every time I make it I am amazed at how good it is and wonder why I don't make it more often. It's so simple. And with our grills in full swing, we couldn't have a more flavorful accompaniment. Tzatziki (pronounced tsah-ZEE-kee) is a traditional Greek dish, which can be part of a mezze platter (a selection of Greek and middle-eastern small dishes served in "mezze" portions like tapas. ), served as a condiment or used as an appetizer. I most often serve it with toasted whole wheat pita chips as an appetizer, but it's a great sauce for grilled lamb or chicken, also divine on all kinds of meat and fish burgers.

Basically, the mixture combines yogurt and cucumbers with plenty of garlic and some chopped fresh herbs. English cucumbers (the kind that are shrink-wrapped at the grocery store) work best because they have few seeds, but you can use other cukes. Just be sure to slice them in half and seed them. Everyone has a different way to prepare the cucumber; I grate mine on a box grater and then twist them in a dish towel to get a little more juice out. I use Fage brand yogurt and place it in a sieve lined with gauze, over a glass bowl, covered, overnight. Please use Greek yogurt because regular yogurt will be too runny. I use both mint and dill in my Tzatziki and instead of lemon juice, I use champagne vinegar. But  lemon juice is fine and what is used in most recipes.



My recipe comes from my dear friend Nancy, who passed away a number of years ago. I think of her every time I make it. She loved the Greek Islands, which is where she said she got the recipe. The only change I have made over the years was adding champagne vinegar. Nancy used lemon juice. But I saw Ina Garten make it with champagne vinegar once and I tried it. I liked it even better...it was tangier.


Nancy's Tzatziki




Ingredients:
1 17oz. container Greek yogurt (I used Fage)
1 English cucumber (I don't bother to seed this kind)
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 heaping tablespoon minced dill
1 heaping tablespoon minced mint
1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Method:

Place the yogurt in a gauze or paper towel-lined sieve. Let stand, covered, overnight in the fridge. The next morning, grate the cucumber on a box grater. Dump it in a tea towel and twist to get some of the juice out. Add to the yogurt and then add the remaining ingredients.

Keep chilled until ready to serve. I serve it with pita chips.

Toasted Pita Chips
Preheat oven to 400°.
Use 4 or 5 rounds of whole wheat pita, cut with scissors into triangles. Lightly brush both sides with olive oil and place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper and bake in the oven until golden brown, about 8-10 minutes. Watch carefully as all ovens are different.

65 comments:

  1. Tzatiki is the only dip I do make - but I have never tried it with champagne vinegar....interesting...

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  2. I don't make it,
    but your post makes it very attempting to try.

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  3. I love Tzatiki but must admit, I like you don't make it nearly enough! I've made mine with lemon juice but I think champagne vinegar would be wonderful! Why don't I make this more?? Better rectify that this week with temps hitting the 90 degree mark!

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  4. I've never made it myself but now I would love to give it a go!

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  5. Barbara your always a woman after my own heart. I love Tzatiki & so do my kids although I'm embarrassed to say I've never made it. BUT..things are changing & I will be using another one of your great recipes. Thank you..thank you! I'm hoping your weekend was as wonderful as you are.

    Cheers! x

    p.s. - loved your comment on my blog this weekend. You are so right!

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  6. I always love reading your blog! This Tzatziki looks delicious and what a lovely way to remember your friend Nancy. I have some recipes like that too... I make homemade pita chips all the time using oregano as well as s&p, mostly to go with white bean dip but now I will have to make them with this. Thanks so much for sharing! Hope all is well with you:)

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  7. I have got to try this recipe Barbara. I haven't had this before and with Summer in full swing it will be great with all the grillong we do.
    hugs

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  8. I love tzatziki, champagne vinegar sounds like a nice change! yours looks delicious!

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  9. Hi Barbara,

    Thank you for the recipe for tzatziki
    I have not made this before, but I look forward to making some.
    Also I will look out for champagne vinegar, have not heard of this before.

    Happy week
    Hugs
    Carolyn

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  10. I've never done it either but I have a greek pita wrap that I am making either this week or next week that uses it. I will compare the recipe I have to yours and pick one! Thanks!

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  11. Hmm..mmm...what a delicious snack especially during this football season! Hope you're having a nice day, Barbara!
    Cheers, Kristy

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  12. I could eat tzatziki all day long! I love the look of your pita chips, Barbara--perfectly toasted, mmm!

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  13. Oooh, champagne vinegar! This looks absolutely refreshing!

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  14. I love Tzatziki! Your recipe sounds wonderful and original!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  15. I love Greek food, but no one will ever eat it with me!

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  16. Barbara,
    Your recipe sounds divine. I made tzatziki once when the Olympics were in Greece. We loved it, why I've never made it again, I don't know. This looks so yummy I think I will give it another try, with the champagne vinegar. You've just inspired my dinner menu.
    How nice your recipe comes from a departed friend. She will never be forgotten.
    Pam

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  17. I love both Greek food and tzatziki--I'll be trying it with champagne vinegar next time. I think it's lovely that you think of your friend every time you make it.

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  18. I love tzatziki, especially when used as a condiment for souvlaki or falafel! This looks like an excellent version.

    You should submit this to Regional Recipes this month, since our theme is Greece! All you have to do is email me a photo and add a link to the Regional Recipes page on your post!

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  19. Barbara...you have no idea how much I love this creamy stuff. It I weren't so concerned about my weight...I would make the fattening version all the time.
    Your recipe ingredients are slightly different and seem even more interesting.
    I have been making my own very reduced in calorie version for the past few years...very Yummy and I don't miss the sour cream;o)
    I'm hoping to share this in a post too one day.
    Until then...I'll have a little less dessert and try Nancy's version;o)
    Thanks for sharing and flavourful wishes, Claudia

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  20. I make my tzatziki just like you do, Barbara. It's one of our favorites. I love it with grilled salmon and lamb and thick slices of vine ripened tomatoes.

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  21. This is new to me,but it looks so delicious!

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  22. I agree, only use greek yogurt. I always make this dish as I go along. Sometimes I'll add garlic, sometimes dill, it depends what i have around. The only things that stay the same are the yogurt and the cucumber.

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  23. I think I have a favorite recipe now! The champagne vinegar will be a great touch...

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  24. Sounds great without the cucumbers (sorry cucs are the only veggie I don't like). What an easy recipe, thanks!

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  25. That sounds and looks wonderful, but I know I can't get champagne vinegar around where I live. Would white wine vinegar be an acceptable aubstitute?

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  26. Sounds good, but i have never had it!

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  27. so reading the method for this dip, it sounds exactly like what we call "labneh" except in Lebanon we eat it for breakfast with olive oil and olives and tomatoes. Delicious! For a dip, we add some ice cubes to make it runny and the cucumbers and some mint and garlic; I have found that adding diced celery works better than cucumbers because the celery stays crunchier. Persian cucumbers or Armenian cucumbers are great because they are very crunchy and seedless.

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  28. I love tzatziki! This is an excellent recipe for it!

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  29. I never seen this before. Looks yummy and a excellent snack.

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  30. Hey Barbara, I'm going to try Nancy's recipe, as I always wonder why I don't make tzatziki sauce more often too after making a homemade batch. It's so delicious and healthful. It's such a great summer food too...perfect for these June days.
    Thanks Barbara!

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  31. Delicious. Champagne vinegar is totally new to me.

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  32. I've never tried making tzatziki but I should. It sounds wonderful and perfect for summer. I'm saving your recipe to try!

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  33. I love tzaziki. But I have never used champagne vinegar. I'm going to have to try that!

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  34. I just adore Tzaziki; it makes me think of summer picnics and long evenings. So refeshing and tangy. Normally I use lemon juice but the champagne vinegar twist sounds good.

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  35. oh this looks great for summer, yummy, looking forward to your black rice creation

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  36. I'm the same way - I always wonder why I don't make tzatziki more often. This looks wonderful!

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  37. I'm with you -- I LOVE tzatziki but I don't make it nearly often enough! Your recipe looks fantastic, I love the dill in there. Next time I make it I will definitely be adding dill! :)

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  38. This has been on my to-do list FOR EVER. Now I know where to find the recipe. Thanks.

    Thanks for the buckwheat suggestions as well.

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  39. I love tzatiki, but never made it myself...thank you so much for the recipe...I sure will try it...it is a nice addition for the Summer...so refreshing with cucumber.

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  40. tzatziki is something i couldn't pronounce correctly for the longest time, but i've always enjoyed it. i'll have to give this champagne vinegar trick a try!

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  41. Barbara,
    I will give this a try using your method and recipe. I have not had it in awhile and love it! I will definitely substitute with the champagne vinegar.
    Thanks for sharing
    Bunny

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  42. Barbara, your taztziki looks heavenly. I've never eaten homemade tzatziki but after this I might need to make it!!

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  43. Barbara, your timing couldn't be better! I just had the most lamb in fresh pita yesterday with tsatziki and thought to myself, I need to make this at home! Thanks!

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  44. Tsatziki looks like a terrific and refreshing remedy for this sweltering weather. Fage is my favorite brand of Greek yogurt.

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  45. That looks wonderfully good Barbara! I love that tzatziki is so good for you but tastes so creamy and delicious :)

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  46. I've wanted to know how to make this - thanks!

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  47. OOOh My goodness Barbara...
    Greek food and I....BIG LOVE AFFAIR!
    and I've never even heard of this!
    I'm all over this like a chicken on a bug!
    Will try soon!
    xoxo~Kathy @
    Sweet Up-North Mornings...

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  48. I LOVE tzatziki too, Barbara. :-) Your addition of champagne vinegar is marvy - and I just happen to have a bottle. :-) Thanks so much for stopping by my blog. :-)

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  49. What a lovely recipe. I can see why it is a favorite of yours. I hope you are having a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

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  50. this looks so delicious! the perfect snack to munch on anytime! beats popcorn, too (:

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  51. Have you ever tried Greek spinach pie?

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  52. I love anything with that Greek, Meditteranean feel. Brian and I were in the Greek Islands about a year and a half ago, and I was like a kid in a candy store with all their sauces and dips!

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  53. I really love tzatziki! I shall have to try it with the champagne vinegar. This looks exceptionally good with those lovely pitas!

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  54. This looks so good. I love tzatziki but am ashamed to admit that I've never made it because it's too easy to buy it here. But this looks so simple, I'm going to make the effort next time. Thanks for the recipe Barbara :)

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  55. YUM! I love tzatziki! I never thought to replace the lemon. Hmmm...now I'm wondering what ELSE might go in there! Great idea!

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  56. I tend to do that too - wonder why I haven't made something that's easy and really yummy - tzatziki is on that list for me too :)

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  57. You're so right about how good tzatziki is! I do the same thing--wondering why I don't make it more often. I just received some cucumbers from my CSA yesterday, and I know exactly how I'll use them!

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  58. This sauce screams SUMMER! We do like it year round, however. I'm anxious to try the champagne vinegar.

    Thanks!

    Best,
    Bonnie

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  59. Thanks for being such a wonderful Invisible Friend!

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  60. Not sure I've ever had Tzatziki before. Sounds like something I'd like.

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  61. MMM I LOVE Tzatziki! YUM!

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  62. I have never had Tzatziki before. Your recipe looks and sound like the perfect thing for summer with grilled chicken. Your toasted pitas look wonderful.

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  63. Great looking recipe. Champagne vinegar does sound like it would add a nice refreshing touch. And those pita chips look scrumptious!

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  64. My recipe is the same as your's only white wine rather than champagne vinegar. We have been on a falafel bend lately and good tzatziki is essential to enjoy them.
    Mimi

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  65. Your recipe looks delicious. I'll have to try champagne vinegar in my tzatziki next time- it sounds like a lovely addition! We love tzatziki- in summer time especially- with grilled chicken. Thanks for sharing your recipe. :)

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