Greek food and I are really great friends. I remember the first time I tried tzatziki; despite my inability to pronounce it, I found it extremely delightful. And because I've since learned to speak its name with confidence, I decided it was about time to learn how to make it.
This fresh, cucumber-y spread is good on everything - crackers, pitas, sandwiches, vegetables, your fingers, etc. - and is healthier than its counterparts.
Tzatziki (adapted from recipe)
-1 (32-oz) container plain Greek yogurt
-1/2 clove garlic, diced
-1 1/4 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
-1 tbsp. olive oil
-1/2 tbsp. salt
-1/2 tsp. pepper
-2 tbsp. fresh dill, chopped
1. Start by straining the yogurt. Use a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth, and place it over a bowl. Scoop yogurt on top, and allow to sit for about an hour to drain all the liquid into the bowl (the warmer the yogurt is, the faster it will strain).
NOTE: I have made this without straining the yogurt & it tastes fine - it just gets really watery after sitting.
2. While yogurt is straining, wash cucumber & chop off both ends. Use a cheese grater to grate the cucumber, and place on a paper towel. Using your hands, squeeze the excess water out of the grated cucumber while holding over the sink. Throw a bit of salt on top & wrap in a paper towel until ready to mix into the yogurt.
3. Once yogurt is done straining, put in a bowl & whisk until smooth. Add remaining ingredients, including the cucumber, and mix thoroughly. Eat immediately, or refrigerate. It's delicious right away, but gets even better as it sits.