Thursday, December 3, 2009


It took me a very long time to try tzatziki (I ate my falafel plain, thank you very much). I don't like (read "hate") creamy, goopy, white sauces, mayo included. I'd rather be hungry than eat a burger or sandwich that has mayo smeared on it. When I finally did try tzatiki I didn't love it, but I could see it had some promise. Then I found a recipe in my Weight Watchers Take-Out Tonight book. The recipe seemed simple, the cucumber was grated instead of chopped (a gripe I had with other tzatziki I'd tried), and it used real ingredients--fresh garlic, fresh dill, etc. I loved it right away, but it made a ton of sauce, and I thought it could use more cucumber. So this recipe is my adaptation. It makes about 1 cup of sauce; if you want more, simply double or triple the ingredient amounts.

Note: This recipe starts with making yogurt cheese (traditional tzatziki is make with Greek yogurt, a very thick, rich, full-fat yogurt), and the flavor is better after sitting for a day, so you need to start a couple days ahead of when you want to use it.

Tzatziki (adapted from Weight Watchers)
Printable Recipe

Update 2/22/12: I just made this with a 6-oz container of fat-free Greek yogurt, and it worked fantastic, so if you don't want to bother with making yogurt cheese you can go that route (I probably will from now on ;)

1 cup non-fat, plain yogurt
1/2 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, grated, and squeezed dry
1 clove garlic, pressed
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh dill
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

1. To make the yogurt cheese, line a fine-mesh sieve with several layers or cheese cloth or a paper, basket-type coffee filter (in these pictures I used a piece of flour-sack towel). Add the yogurt and put the sieve over a bowl. Cover the sieve with plastic wrap and let it sit in the fridge for several hours or overnight. The yogurt liquid will drain leaving a very thick blob of lovely, tangy, yogurt cheese.

2. Combine the yogurt cheese and remaining ingredients in a medium bowl and stir well to combine. Cover and refrigerate at least several hours or over night.

Use this tzatziki as a veggie dip or as a sauce for falafel, breaded fish or chicken, or Closet Cooking's Greek Tomato-Feta Fritters.

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