Tsatsiki is a legendary Greek specialty, but it’s a little hard to describe, since it’s used in so many different ways. A fresh, bright-flavored combination of several iconic Greek foods—yogurt, cucumbers, garlic and dill or mint—it’s a cross between a condiment, a dip, a dressing and a sauce. Since there’s so few ingredients, quality counts—so choose a firm, organic cucumber, garden-fresh herbs and Organic Valley yogurt, a live-culture, pourable yogurt with just the right amount tang.
Serve tsatsiki with plain rice or rice pilaf, on grilled fish or chicken, with sauteed spinach, or as a dip for pita chips or pita bread. Eat it straight as a kind of soup-salad, or stir in a couple of teaspoons of vinegar and use it as a dressing for chopped greens. You get the idea. Indeed, there are so many uses for this sauce, you really should double the recipe.
1. Peel the cucumber, cut it in half lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. Finely chop the cucumber flesh or grate it on the largest holes of a grater. Use your hands to squeeze out most of the liquid and then place it in a bowl.
2. Peel the garlic, place it on a cutting board and sprinkle it with a little salt. Chop the garlic finely and then press it into a paste with the flat of the knife.
3. Add pressed garlic, yogurt and desired herb to the cucumbers in the bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix well. You can eat it right away but it develops the best and brightest flavor if the ingredients get to know each other for a little while (in the refrigerator).
Copyright by Terese Allen