Classic Tzatziki

I love fusion cuisine and making up recipes on my own.

I’m all for newfangled cooking styles – bring on the spherical olive oil, ya know what I’m saying?

But there is a time and a place for those recipes and a time and a place for the classics.

I present to you now, a true classic.

This recipe is for my favorite Greek dip. There is nothing nouveau or  very unique about it. 

It just has everything it should and nothing it shouldn’t. 


2011-02-28 greek fish Ingredients:

500 grams(1 medium container) full fat Greek yogurt

1 cup washed and diced dill

a few sprigs each oregano and mint

2 cloves garlic

2 small cucumbers or 1 large one

juice of 1 lemon

salt and pepper to taste

1. Set the tub of Greek yogurt to drain over a colander for an hour. A LOT of water will run out, making this creamier and richer than ever. 

 In the meanwhile…

 2. Grate the cucumbers on a box grater or in a food processor.

3. Then, let the cucumbers drain over a different colander so that they don’t add all the water you just drained from your yogurt back into it. This should take a good 15 minutes or so. Finish by drying them well with a paper towel. 

4. Take the cloves of garlic, and SMASH them with the wide part of your knife. This will make the peel slip right off and split the clove a bit.

 This is what hungry people do for anger management.  

5. Sprinkle about 2 teaspoons of COARSE salt on each clove. Fine salt won’t work, it MUST be coarse salt to act as an abrasive to the garlic.Then, drag the wide part of your knife slowly and firmly across the garlic in one direction, just going over and over the garlic. Sooner than you think, you will have… 

This! No big cloves, just a smooth garlic paste.

6. Add the smashed garlic paste, half of the lemon juice (you can always add more!), and some pepper to the herbs…

7. Add the yogurt and the cucumbers…

 8. Taste and adjust for seasonings.(the rest of the lemon juice, some more dill, a touch more salt…). 

greek fish 196

9. Serve

 This is  a really fabulous dip. It’s creamy and verdant and just mildly spicy from the garlic. You really need the full fat yogurt here to compete with the lemon juice and aggressive pepper – the fat content keeps it from being too tart or harsh. It is wonderful on a fish sandwich, as a dip for pita, or even as a salad dressing. Serve it alongside some hummus and olives and it’s a party platter.

It’s not new. It’s not hip.

But it sure is tasty. 


  1. Sarah, this looks phenomenal! I love tzatziki sauce and always make it with sad non-fat Greek yogurt. Next time I’m totally going full fat–because it’s only right. Can’t wait to try it!