Tzatziki is a staple of Greek culture. Lashings can be dolloped on perfectly caramalised spit roasted lamb or plopped on a warm slice of pita bread. Now! Not all tzatziki is created equal so here is my recipe (handed down from my Greek-chef father George) that is guaranteed to have you finishing off every dish with a side of garlicy-yoghurty-deliciousness.
- 1 pot of sheep/goat's milk yoghurt (traditional!)
- 1 continental cucumber skin on, grated
- 3 large cloves of garlic, crushed
- Extra virgin 100% olive oil
- 1/2 a lemon
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Strain the yoghurt!
- The key to amazing tzatziki is the consistency of the yoghurt. It must be strained so that the whey is removed and you are left with thick, creamy yoghurt.
- To do this you will need a cheese straining bag, muslin cloth or piece of clean linen. Now this should be done the day before so that your yoghurt is completely separated. I normally hang my bag of yoghurt in the shower, but if you can find a way to suspend your bag in the fridge that works too.
- Remove all liquid from the grated cucumber by squeezing it in your hands (or in a clean tea towel). If the cucumber is too watery it will make your dip runny.
- Once your yoghurt is completely strained then pop it into a mixing bowl. Add in cucumber, garlic, salt, pepper, juice of half the lemon and a short glug of olive oil.
- Mix everything with a wooden spoon and taste. Adjust any flavours as required.
- Serve tzatziki in a bowl with a drizzle of olive oil and an olive OR just smack it on whatever you are eating!