Greek Tzatziki Sauce
This is a delicious sauce that can be used in many Greek recipes. We like to use it when making gyros, or other Mediterranean recipes that are wrapped in pitas. It tastes just like the sauce we've had in restaurants such as "Hell's" in Tarpon Springs in Florida. It's a funny name, but the restaurant is known for having some of the best Greek food and Greek pastries in Florida.
- Ready In:
- 8 ounces plain yogurt (or Greek yogurt, if your store carries it)
- 1⁄2 medium cucumbers, peeled, seeded and finely chopped or 1/2 peeled grated cucumber
- 2 ounces sour cream
- 1 small pinch salt
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- 2 mint leaves, finely minced or 1/4 teaspoon dried mint
- 1 small garlic clove, finely minced
- Place yogurt in a coffee filter or piece of cheesecloth, and place in a strainer over a dish. Let drain for 2-4 hours in the refrigerator. If using Greek yogurt you do not need to drain it, as it is already a thick consistency.
- Meanwhile, put the chopped or grated cucumber in a tea towel and squeeze to remove liquid. Discard liquid. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and mix into the cucumber. Set aside 20 minutes. Rinse a little to wash out the extra salt, if you want to. Then squeeze again to express as much liquid as possible.
- Draining the yogurt and cucumber make for a thick and authentic consistency of tzatziki sauce.
- Combine the drained yogurt and cucumber, sour cream, pinch of salt, olive oil, red wine vinegar, mint and garlic. Note: we love garlic, so I tried adding more once. It made for an overpowering and almost bitter taste, so now I stick to only 1 clove.
- Place sauce in the refrigerator for 1 hour or more to meld flavors. Stir before serving. The sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week. Makes 1 1/4 cups.
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Can't believe I haven't reviewed this...I've been using this recipe for a LONG time now! Since using this recipe, not even a good gyro stand's tzatziki will satisfy me...I smugly think to myself "mine's better!" I think the red wine vinegar and olive oil are KEY and different than your average tzatziki recipe. Of course, I do tweak it to my own taste usually, but doesn't everyone? I also usually use garlic-infused olive oil instead of the garlic clove, as I don't care for raw garlic...it bothers me after the fact in my mouth. Other than that, I think this is the FIRST and ONLY tzatziki you'll ever need. By the way, you can vary the amount of cuke and it's still great, and I often use fresh dill instead of mint. Some peeps even use basil, so use what you've got!Reply
I make a double batch in food processor. De-seed the cukes, and pulse in food processor with the salt until the right size. Remove from processor into a strainer. Meanwhile, I use the food processor bowl (no need to clean) and whiz all the rest up (except for the herbs). Leave in the food processor bowl. When the cukes have been strained and squeezed of their juices, I put them back into the yogurt/food processor bowl along with the herbs, give it a pulse or two and taste for seasoning. If I need to season more, I do that after I put the tzatiki into my storage bowl, as I don't want to over-pulse my herbs and cukes. BTW, I never add any salt to the yogurt mix until AFTER it's been recombined with the salted cukes...you never know how much sodium the cukes will bring back to the yogurt. PS...I often put in MORE olive oil and sometimes put in some pinches of cayenne. YUM!!!!Reply
Hmmm....while I did like this sauce on Gyro's, the flavors did not seem well balanced. I thought that the garlic was a too strong for me (maybe my clove of garlic was too large) and I thought that the greek yogurt was perhaps too tangy for my personal taste. I have never used greek yogurt before and was surprised at how tangy it really it.Reply