the best tzatziki ever

Slowly but surely, I’m taking the cucumber plunge. You see, I’ve never been a big fan of them to begin with. A couple of years ago, I decided that I liked them in sandwiches…but only in sandwiches. Then this past summer, I tried them dipped into hummus. Uh, hello, it was yummy! Emboldened by this new found cuke-love, I decided that I would try my hand at tzatziki. You know, that Greek dip filled with cucumbers. See, when I get into something, I really dive in.

Initially, I was worried about texture. Slimy wasn’t what I was looking for. I was also determined to make it to my own tastes which meant a lot of garlic and lemon and spice to enhance the experience. I said enhance not mask in case you are taking note. So I got started and strained my own plain low fat yogurt using a coffee pot and paper coffee filters. I’ve done it before and it works really well. Or you can just go ahead and use Greek yogurt which is thick and rich and pretty much perfect. Then you grate and drain the cucumbers of their excess moisture. After that, all the hard part is done. A bit of lemon here, a bit of dill and garlic there. Add in some kosher salt and spice to balance everything out and there you go. A dip of champions. Please note, that the photos were taken on New Years eve and I had a few Amaretto Sours alongside, so things aren’t quite so photogenic – but don’t let that turn you off. This tzatziki is amazing and I’m not just saying that because me and the cucumber are bffs 4 ever.

Share |

30 comments to “the best tzatziki ever”

  1. 1
    eileen   February 23, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    yay, yogurt and cucumber in one convenient package! I strain my yogurt too, but I use this nylon mesh coffee-filter looking thing actually marketed as a yogurt strainer that I found at goodwill a couple years ago. there's actually some draining in my fridge as we speak!

  2. 2
    The Church of Vintage   February 23, 2010 at 5:58 pm

    It's almost a tzatziki/raita hybrid with the spice.

  3. 3
    emvandee   February 23, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    I love that this is different from the tzatziki I've come to expect. And the cucumber juice? Delicious mixed with a bit of Pimms and a squish of lemon for a makeshift Pimm's Cup any old time.

  4. 4
    Three Owls   February 23, 2010 at 6:42 pm

    I have just discovered your blog, and I love it. The recipes look delicious and so does the over-all design, I am inspired. Thanks.

  5. 5
    Bijoux   February 23, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    Correction: My mom makes the best tzatziki ever LOL! Yours could be the best tzatziki ever from a non-Greek person LOL!! :)
    All joking aside, I have never tried adding lemon to tzatziki before and the addition of cayenne and paprika sounds like a tasty twist! There are so many variations of tzatziki out there and everyone has their own approach to making it. I can't wait to try this one out soon – sounds delicious! What did you serve with your tzatziki?

  6. 6
    Joanne   February 24, 2010 at 3:16 am

    I'm not the biggest cuke fan either (just too watery/tasteless?). I will eat them but I don't LOVE them. I do really like tzatziki though. Have to try this!

  7. 7
    Rach   February 23, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    I've yet to make tzatziki, but I'm on a real fritter tear lately. I'll give this the old college try.

  8. 8
    dawn   February 24, 2010 at 7:51 am

    it's gross really how much tzatziki I consume on a weekly basis. I mean I put the stuff on everything and combine it with almost anything. I MUST try it this way.

  9. 9
    sweet-komal   February 24, 2010 at 8:03 am

    I love smoked maldon salt!

  10. 10
    Monika   February 24, 2010 at 9:32 am

    Your photos are still lovely, regardless of Amaretto Sours; I'm always compelled to try out your recipes!

  11. 11
    Beth   February 24, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    I've got tons of greek yougurt in the fridge (long story) – I made Raita a few days ago, perhaps I will try tzatziki next

  12. 12
    redmenace   February 24, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    I've never made this before, but I do love it a lot. Thanks so much for this recipe! You're always giving me just what I need!

  13. 13
    Ed Schenk   February 24, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    This is just what I like to top lamb Burgers!

  14. 14
    Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen   February 24, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    Oh, this one hurts…how I love tzatziki! One day we will be reunited! Sounds delicious!

  15. 15
    Haley   February 24, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    I too am on the cucumber journey – never was a big fan, but slowly, I'm coming around (the big aha moment was a really crispy slice of cuke dunked in ranch dressing..). I can't wait to try your tzatziki. I'm a longtime reader first time commenter!

  16. 16
    hag   February 24, 2010 at 10:13 pm

    Can't wait to try your Tzatziki recipe… I love cucumbers…and tzatiki, so this will be a treat.

  17. 17
    Dana   February 25, 2010 at 10:52 am

    Why have I never made this? Cucumbers and I were BFFs long before you and cucumbers. :) My mom used to give them to me as a snack sprinkled with salt. I still love them that way. I've had Tzatziki in restaurants and have always loved it – time to make it!

  18. 18
    kickpleat   February 25, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    Eileen, I've seen those things before. I will definitely try to pick one up next time I thrift. How awesome.

    Vintage, I guess so! I've never made raita, but I guess it's just different spices.

    emvandee, love it. I've got some Hendrick's gin just waiting for cuke juice!

    Thanks Three owls for stopping by!

    Bijoux, I don't want to step on your mom's toes, but I really do love mine :) I just served this with toasted pita strips. So good!

    Rach, how can you go wrong with fritters? How come I'm not your neighbour?

    Joanne, give them a try!

    Dawn, I love that you eat it all the time. It's probably one of the reasons why I think we'd be good pals!

    Sweet-komal, me too! Best thing ever.

    Thanks Monika.

    Beth, try out the tzatziki! It's a goodie.

    Well, glad I can help out redmenace!

    Ed, this would be oh-too-perfect for lamb burgers!

    Sarena, you could totally use a soy yogurt for this, I'm sure!

    Thanks for stopping by Haley and sharing your newfound cuke love! I'll have to try it with ranch. Yum!

    Hag, I hope you enjoy it. It's a definite treat.

    Wenchie, I don't think I'd like mint in my tzatziki either. Try this one out. It's savoury!

    Dana, get on it! I'm sure you'd make a pretty fantastic version.

  19. 19
    wenchie   February 25, 2010 at 5:40 am

    I love cucumber, but all the tzatziki I've ever had has had fresh mint in it which I cannot stand, so this looks lovely!

  20. 20
    hannah | honey & jam   February 25, 2010 at 6:52 pm

    i'm trying to get into cucumbers. i know i'll have a ton growing in my garden this summer (and zucchini, which i'm also trying to learn to love), so i'm going to have to try it out in different forms. this is going on the list!

  21. 21
    Diana's Cocina   February 25, 2010 at 7:31 pm

    i could bath in this! I know you made this just for me =:~)

  22. 22
    The Cooking Life - Michelle   February 26, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    I will have to try this! My husband and I love Mediterranean food so this will be a good accompaniment.

  23. 23
    kickpleat   February 27, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    hannah, i'm also a bit wary of zukes too! maybe we should form a club!

    diana, hold the bathing! though it is definitely good enough that you'd want to ;)

    michelle, i'm sure you & your husb will enjoy!

  24. 24
    eatme_delicious   February 28, 2010 at 10:07 am

    Yum! I need to make tzatziki at home.

  25. 25
    kickpleat   March 1, 2010 at 9:37 pm

    eatme, you def should! it's worth all that grating.

  26. 26
    Lori   March 11, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    I love tzatziki- I hate spelling it though.

    This really does look wonderful.

    I love your new blog. I need to update my site so that my link to you brings them here

  27. 27
    kickpleat   March 12, 2010 at 11:56 am

    Thanks Lori! Yeah, spelling it is kind of a bitch :)

  28. 28
    nancy   April 7, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    Have had a long standing love affair w/cukes. I love summer when my garden is overflowing with them and I am FORCED (yeah it’s hard to talk me into eating them…actually have a hard time leaving them in the garden long enough to grow to a decent size!) Ranch dressing is good, french/catalina is too. But tzaziki…ah! Heaven! I put it in pitas with some lettuce, tomato, onion, cucumber and whatever else I have handy, and meatballs (i know sounds odd, but..) if i’m pinched for time I’ll even use premade meatballs though mine are better. My family adds black olives, not an olive fan myself but I get them for them. So more cuke recipes would be great… have you made cold cuke soup yet? AH!!!!!!!!!

  29. 29
    Nikoleta   March 6, 2012 at 8:37 am

    Hi! Your recipe is really interesting but I think it’s a bit more spicy than tzatziki. I prefer the original recipe for the tzatziki which is yoghurt,garlic,cucumber,olive oil and salt.I am from Ioannina, a small city of Greece and this is how we make tzatziki in my town! Hope you like it!

  30. 30
    Robert F   August 13, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    I made this, it worked well with the somewhat bland chicken souvlaki made by a friend of mine and garnered two specific compliments from book club members. But I think it would miss the mark as a “cooling” element for a spicy meal, which is the traditional role of tzatziki. Also, the red onion in the ingredient list isn’t included in the instructions.

Leave a comment