The greeks have amazing yogurt, it's actually a point of national pride for the country's 11 million inhabitants. And understandably so, for it is delicious, managing to be both remarkably creamy and also lower in fat than American-style yogurt due to the fact that it is made from ewe's milk instead of cow's milk.
Tzatziki is easy to make, refreshing and a great summer salad that is a perfect side for lots of meals from grilled meats to stewed lentils to baked eggplant to roasted chicken...
If you'd like to try making this with greek yogurt, there are several brands available in the U.S., the most widely available of which is probably Fage. However, this salad will be delicious when made with a whole-milk American yogurt, too. I used a delicious organic European-style (tends to be more liquid than American-style yogurt) yogurt made by Strauss, our beloved local creamery.
One of its beauties is that it is a flexible salad - you can add less or more yogurt, depending on your preference for consistency, and use just dill or a variety of different herbs (dill, cilantro, and parsley are all good), as you like.
Here is the basic recipe - I am leaving the amounts loose since they will depend on how much you want to make and how much of each thing you want to add (some might prefer more onion and less yogurt, others no onion and tons of herbs, etc.)
Tzatziki (Cucumber and Yogurt Salad With Herbs)
* 1 large cucumber, washed and peeled if the skin was waxed and cut into thin slices (try to find an organic cucumber if possible)
* 1/4 to 1/2 small red onion, peeled and cut into paper thin slices (if you love onion, use a lot, if you don't love onion, use less or none at all)
* 1- 1 1/2 cups organic whole milk yogurt
* 2 tsps fresh dill, washed, dried and chopped
* 1 tsp fresh parsely, washed, dried and chopped (alternatively, you could also substitute fresh cilantro for either the dill or the parsley)
* Freshly ground black pepper
* Fine sea salt
1. Combine the herbs, cucumber, and yogurt in a bowl and stir to mix.
2. Season to taste with the salt and pepper.
3. Taste and adjust the amounts as needed (you can add more yogurt, herbs or onions if you feel any one of them is lacking).
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