During my search for the perfect falafel recipe I realized that I needed a tzatziki recipe to top my falafels with. What I discovered was that tzatziki is such a simple recipe and everyone pretty much uses the same ingredients, yogurt, cucumber, garlic, lemon juice and salt.
Removing the extra liquid from the yogurt is what takes the most time. But is an important step that gives this sauce its thick creamy consistency. When I opened the container of Greek yogurt and saw how thick it was I was sure that this step was unnecessary and that no other liquid would come out of it.
But since I was doing this for the first time I decided to follow the instructions and drain the yogurt for a couple of hours in the fridge. I used a strainer lined with a coffee filter to drain the yogurt and set it over a measuring cup, that’s how I knew that a ½ cup of liquid drained from the yogurt. I was definitely surprise to see all that liquid at the bottom of the glass.
The other important step in making this sauce is to peel, seed and grate the cucumber then squeeze out the liquid.
I grated the cucumbers on a box grater and folded them into a paper towel to squeeze out the liquid. It amazed me as to how much liquid came out of the cucumbers as well.
I also discovered that the average amount of garlic varies from 4 – 6 cloves, depending on whose recipe you were reading. I used 2 fairly large cloves when I made it and found it to be too strong which surprised me. I love garlic and use it generously when cooking, but I found that the finely minced raw garlic in the tzatziki lingered in my mouth all night. Next time I am going to cut it back to one big clove. It is all about personal taste so add as much as you like. That’s why I put 1 – 4 cloves of garlic as part of the recipe for those who have a higher tolerance than me.
16 oz. Greek yogurt, drained
1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and grated
1 – 4 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice, half a lemon
½ tsp. kosher salt
Place the yogurt in a strainer lined with a coffee filter or paper towel. Let it sit in the fridge for 2 hours to release the extra moisture. I got about ½ cup of liquid out of my yogurt.
Peel, seed and grate cucumbers on a box grater. Place in a couple of paper towel and squeeze out the liquid. You will be amazed as to how much liquid comes out of the cucumbers.
Place the drained yogurt, cucumber, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and salt in to the bowl and mix well.
Serve as a dip with fresh vegetables or to top your falafel or gyro.