Thursday, August 25, 2011
Making tzatziki is dead easy. The hard part is figuring out how to spell it. I am convinced there are as many spellings as there are Greeks.
This time I used Astro Original Balkan Style yogurt. I am very fond of the Organic Meadow product as well.
I have tried many types of Greek Pita and the Pita Delight brand from Concord, Ontario is the most authentic for my tastes, as far as a pita found in a grocery store. It is very similar to what is used at Greekfest here in Ottawa in August every year. I buy mine at the Produce Depot at Carling and Maitland.
The pitas must be heated before serving to make them light and fluffy. I heat my pitas on the BBQ or I use my crepe pan on the stove to heat them through one at a time. Brush just a little bit of olive oil on the bread before putting it on the heat.
If you have a Greek pita recipe, I would love to try it.
Tzatziki can be used in many ways - as a dip with pita bread or vegetables, inside a souvlaki pita sandwich, or along side grilled lamb. I have also used it as 'butter' on rye bread, topped with thin slices of cucumber and roast pork.
4 cups Plain Yogurt
cucumber, peeled and grated (equivalent in quantity to one English cucumber)
3 - 4 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 tsp Salt
Line a colander with cheesecloth and set it over a bowl to drain. Pour in the yogurt and allow it to drip for at least two hours.
I let it sit in the fridge overnight as I like a very dense yogurt cheese. (Make sure you have a bowl that is big enough to catch close to two cups of liquid.)
Peel the cucumbers and grate them finely.
[Cucumbers and garlic from Roots and Shoots Farm]
Also drain the cucumber so it is just a pulp. You may have to squeeze it multiple times. It is important to drain the cucumber well to ensure a dense tzatziki.
Combine the yogurt cheese, cucumber pulp and minced garlic. Place back in the yogurt container and refrigerate until just before serving.
When serving, drizzle the olive oil over the surface and without stirring, sprinkle on the salt. It needs no mixing. Leave that to your guests when they dig in.
Makes 2 cups.