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Little can be added for the most famous Greek dip, a sour cream that everybody love. The reputation of tzatziki sauce precedes it, it cools souvlaki wraps, it can stand alone on a table full of mezze and it is certainly the one dip that will cool your day. Sauce tzatziki is creamy, refreshing and with a spicy kick of garlic. And oh, so simple to make! Tzatziki comes as the perfect dip to compliment grilled meats. There can be no better match to it than souvlaki or kebab grills. In Greek tavernas, tzatziki appetizer always makes its appearance alongside crispy, freshly fried vegetables.
Tzatziki sauce in Greece is used and offered on various occasions. It is in fact an extremely simple and fast type of preparation.
The ingredients used are all always available in any Greek pantry. They are all ingredients available throughout the year and therefore not a seasonal dish.
For example, tzatziki is present in the tables set for Easter lunch as a side dish to the main courses based on lamb and kokoretsi. This exquisite cream marries in an exceptional way with the strong flavor of lamb, forming an unmistakable mix of flavors.
But it is also a summer dish thanks to its refreshing power. Yogurt, cucumbers and garlic come together to form a tasty and unique dish of the Greek culinary tradition.
The ingredients used are so common and widespread that its presence is now extended to the cooking tradition of the whole Middle East. Another particularly interesting combination is in fact the tzatziki with the typical kebab of the regions bordering Europe.
The raw materials of tzatziki therefore contain a worthy representation of the production of the whole Mediterranean basin. Yogurt, cucumbers, extra virgin olive oil and garlic ... all in a gluten-free mix!
There is hardly anyone that can resist its charm. But are there any tricks in making it at home?
For the perfect tzatziki sauce, you need a good regular yogurt. It is the type of yogurt that would add this creamy texture, so avoid the standard plain yogurt. Then comes the cucumber, that takes a little preparation. If there are seeds, remove them.
First of all, the cucumber is one of the main and most important components of this preparation. Being able to use on ripe and crunchy cucumbers makes the tzatziki sauce tastier and more fragrant. The secret to a traditional Greek sauce is the Greek cucumbers, inimitable in terms of quality.
Your cucumber will need to be grated or cubed before going into the tzatziki dip, but do not forget to treat it to some salt. This will remove any excess moisture and will allow for smooth texture.
Also, remember to remove any excess water that cucumbers are full of. After grating them, the advice is to squeeze them firmly and for a long time, perhaps using a colander.
In fact, the greater the water present inside the cucumbers, the less creamy the final sauce will be.
Super easy to make at home (and you will taste the huge difference with the store bought), here is what you will need for authentic homemade, easy tzatziki dip.
1. Peel your cucumber and chop the edges then torment against the thick side of your grater.
2. Add a little salt and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. This draws out all of the excess water so your tzatziki dip is nice and thick. Squeeze all the water out of your grated cucumber.
3. Meanwhile chop the fresh mint (eventually feel free to also add fresh dill) and press your garlic cloves
4. You can now combine the Greek yogurt and cucumber. Add the olive oil and vinegar. Mix very well to get a smooth homogeneous texture. Taste and adjust.
5. Finally stir in your herbs, and you are done! Chill and enjoy.
Tip: the more you chill the better the flavours combine, so make it the night before your bbq!