Back home in Panama City there is this little pizza shop, owned by a Greek family, called Athens Pizza. OMG, their stuff is amazing, anything you order is drool-worthy. The menu is definitely Mediterranean, and everything is fresh as fresh can be. According to my gourmet nephew, this place has “the best tzatziki outside of Greece.” He’s right! Their sauce is outstanding, and very authentic.
The word tzatziki is a derivative of the Turkish word caciq, which in turn is related to other words in some Western Asian languages. A similar food is popular in many Balkan countries where it is served as a mezze, or as a side dish. Also, depending on the country, different herbs are used.
This simply delicious sauce is made with fresh and easy to find ingredients. Basically, plain yogurt, seedless cucumber, garlic, salt and pepper. I personally like to drizzle olive oil on top and sprinkle some fresh dill. Someone told me that dill is not 100% authentic. No worries, cooking is about innovation and taste.
And while we’re on the subject of innovation, let me make another suggestion: mint. Yup, I’ve used mint in my tzatziki mainly because I have an overabundance of it in my back yard. One of the reasons I grow mint is to make mint juleps; I just felt the need to confess.
You can use an authentic Greek tzatziki sauce as a dip, for carrots and veggies, or to go with grilled meats, think kebabs or grilled lamb. YUM!
This recipe is pretty easy, the only word of warning here is that you need to make sure that the cucumber is very dry when you mix it in with the tzatziki. Why? well, cucumber has a high water content which can make your dip watery, and that is the last thing you want.
Oh, and the garlic. As far as this ingredient is concerned, I am leaving it totally up to you. I have a friend who LOVES garlic, as in there are no evil spirits in her house LOVE. I have a more temperate relationship with garlic, so I use it with caution.
In the meantime, why don’t you make some? Let me know how you like it, and also if you added any extra ingredients.
Authentic Greek Tzatziki Sauce
A delicious and healthy Greek sauce to complement any of your grilled needs or veggies. Made with yogurt, garlic and cucumber.
Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
mint for garnish - optional
- Place the grated cucumber in a strainer and gently squeeze down to remove any excess water.
- In a bowl place the Greek yogurt, salt, pepper, and garlic, then stir to combine.
- Add in the strained cucumber, then stir in the dill, and the nutmeg. Drizzle with olive oil, and top with chopped mint if desired.