Greek Cucumber Yogurt Tzatziki

by | Salads and Veggies

Authentic Greek Cucumber Yogurt sauce or salad, is he most refreshing and versatile use of yogurt, cucumber, fresh herbs and garlic you will ever taste!

Authentic Greek Cucumber Yogurt
Authentic Greek Cucumber Yogurt

What Is Tzatziki?

Tzatziki has been a Mediterranean favorite sauce, dip, salad and meze for centuries!

Every country that brings this unique sauce to their favorite recipe, has a variety of twists as to the ingredients they will use.

So what makes my Tzatziki authentic? Because the Greeks said so!

Homemade Tzatziki
Homemade Tzatziki

Cucumber Yogurt Tzatziki

First authentic fact that makes my Mediterranean Tzatziki Sauce fabulous, is that I am a Syrian-American.

I grew up with a Syrian mom, who shared her kitchen, regularly with her girlfriends, who would get together to cook.

Her girlfriends wereLebanese, Egyptian, Greek, Iraqis, Turkish, and Sicilian. These women fast became friends with my mom because they all shared common Mediterranean cuisines.

Specifically, these women were looking to connect with other women of similar ethnicities; wanting to preserve the authentic recipes they brought to America. preserved.

Preserving Traditional Tzatziki and Yogurt

Preserving recipes  from every immigrant that made America their home, is what has made America the best dining experience in the world!

Tzatziki Salad
Tzatziki Salad

Second fact that makes my Tzatziki Sauce an Authentic Greek Tzatziki? Right out of high school, I married a Greek!

Not just an American Greek boy, but a Greek, Greek boy whose entire home-life, here in America, was Greek! Yep, I had a Greek mother in law… don’t ask!

Tzatziki Ingredients
Tzatziki Ingredients

REAL Yogurt Makes Greek Cucumber Tzatziki

Go to the grocery store and buy the yogurt, cucumber and herbs? Nope! The yogurt, in my home, was always made at home.

I learned to make yogurt since I was a kid.

My easy yogurt recipe can be found here:  Homemade Yogurt. 

Greek Yogurt Tzatziki

The homemade yogurt needed to be thickened, which is what we, here in America, call Greek yogurt. Any yogurt can be made into Greek yogurt.

Place a large cheese cloth (a thin cotton fabric with lots of tiny holes), over a bowl. Tie the ends of the cheese cloth so the yogurt stays inside and the watery substance from the yogurt drips out. Allow it to drip for about 2 hours.

There, you have thick Greek yogurt! This can be made at anytime and stored in the refrigerator until ready to use. 

Homemade Yogurt
Homemade Yogurt

Cucumbers In Greek Yogurt Tzatziki

Next is the cucumber. While visiting Greece (and relatives), I noticed that many restaurants on the islands had huge gardens behind them.

Cucumbers grew all year, as did the herbs. While we were out in the garden to gather the cucumber, we cut dill and mint as well.

I swore that one day I would have a garden like this. Now I do, except here where I live in the states, I only have a summer garden. 

Homegrown Cucumber and Oregano
Homegrown Cucumbers and Oregano

Preparing Cucumbers For Tzatziki

The cucumbers for the tzatziki sauce, back in that taverna in Greece, was prepared a little different than I’ve seen it done here.

Cucumber skins were left on, the seeds were sliced out, therefore eliminating the need to drain the cucumbers.

Greek style cucumbers were cut into large chunks for the tzatziki that would be served as a salad, side dish or meze. For a dipping sauce, the cucumber were cut into tiny chunks.

I loved having the skin left on. It gave the tzatziki color and substance, and the removing of the seeds kept the tzatziki from getting watery. 

Herbs In Greek Cucumber Yogurt Tzatziki

Both dill and mint are used interchangeably in the tzatziki, or together. I think the use of dill or mint really depends on preference.

In my opinion, dill is very dominant in tzatziki where as I find mint to compliment the other gentle flavors of the yogurt and cucumber. In my tzatziki, I use mint. 

Summertime Tzatziki

Tzatziki is a recipe I make often throughout the summer months. It is an easy and refreshing addition to many of my summertime meals. It also gives me a reason to grow my own mint and cucumbers and a reason to make my own yogurt.

With plenty farmer’s markets scattered throughout America in the summer months, you too can easily find the fresh ingredients to use in your tzatziki recipe. 

My Mint Garden
My Mint Garden

Greek Cucumber Yogurt Tzatziki On Television

Authentic Mediterranean Tzatziki here in America. I can’t think of a better place to showcase an authentic recipe than on TELEVISION! Yep!

I had the most exciting opportunity to make my tzatziki recipe while cooking on Guys Grocery Games! The show aired August 14, 2019 and was called Grandma Grocery Games.

Tzatziki I Made On Guy's Grocery Games.
Tzatziki I Made On Guy’s Grocery Games

I made my recipe for tzatziki to be served as a refreshing side salad to go along with a Kofta on Pita bread that I made.

While the kofta was met with a few crazy challenges, the judges raved about my authentic tzatziki recipe.

I am elated to share my Mediterranean Tzatziki recipe with you here!

Guy's Grocery Games - August 2019
Guy’s Grocery Games – August 2019

Ingredients Needed

  • Yogurt
  • Cucumber
  • Mint
  • Garlic
  • Lemon
  • Salt
  • Olive oil

Equipment Needed

  • Cutting board
  • Chopping knife
  • Measuring cup
  • Measuring spoons
  • Spoon
  • Mixing bowl
  • Citrus press

Greek Cucumber Yogurt Tzatziki

Recipe by rdaumitCourse: SaladsCuisine: MediterraneanDifficulty: Easy

Greek cucumber yogurt Tzatziki, with fresh herbs, is a refreshing addition to any meal.

Ingredients

  • Yogurt – 2 cups, whole milk Greek yogurt, or homemade yogurt drained to thicken

  • Cucumber – 1 1/2 cups, skin on, seeds removed, cubed

  • Mint – 2 tablespoon, freshly chopped

  • Garlic – 2 cloves, crushed

  • Lemon juice – 2 tablespoons

  • Salt – 1/2 teaspoon

  • Olive oil – 1 tablespoon, a little more to drizzle on top when served

Directions

  • If using Greek yogurt, which is already thick, you do not need to strain it. If using homemade yogurt or other type of yogurt, strain the yogurt with cheesecloth over a bowl for about 2 hours, which drains the watery aspect of yogurt and retains the thick texture of yogurt. This step can be done days in advance.
  • Place the cubed slices of cucumber in a large bowl. Add the mint, garlic, lemon juice, salt and olive oil. Toss and let stand a few minutes. Add the yogurt and mix gently. Chill and serve.
Authentic Tzatziki
Authentic Tzatziki
 

My Muffin Madness

 

In my family, I’ve always been known as the ‘Muffin Queen’. Out of necessity, I created muffins for breakfast, lunch, on the go snacks, sometimes dinner and a sweet yet healthyish treat for dessert!

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