I love Tzatziki! There is something about it being yogurt-based that makes me feel a little less guilty about indulging in this savory dip as opposed to it's mayo-based rivals.
The first time I made Tzatziki I got the recipe verbally from a Greek friend of mine. She said, "It's easy! Just take some yogurt and add some cucumber, dill, garlic and lemon juice." Sounds simple enough. But there are a many different ways you can put those ingredients together and get entirely different results.
My last few tries at making this Middle Eastern appetizer have resulted in the garlic flavor being so overwhelming that I'm sure to repel a legion of vampires this Halloween. Thank God for my Chef friend and neighbor, Arthur Natale with the Adora Inn, who shared with me his recipe and expert tips.
Adora Inn's Tzatziki
Greek Style Yogurt
1 Garlic Clove
Several Sprigs of Fresh Mint
1) Peel the cucumber and cut in half. Use a spoon to scrape out the seeds and then chop into fine bits.
2) Peel and press the garlic clove. (HERE'S THE COOL TRICK) then RUB the bowl with the clove, releasing the garlic oil. Discard clove. (I know you're all now nodding your head saying, "aaahh! That's how he does it!")
3) Finely chop the mint.
4) Add the yogurt, cucumber and mint into garlic rubbed bowl and mix.
5) Cut lemon in half and squeeze lemon juice into the yogurt and mix.
6) Drizzle with olive oil and kalmata olives ... Tzatziki Refined!
Arthur likes his Greek Style yogurt fully loaded when it comes to calories and fat. But he's a tall, thin and handsome Italian man, so he can afford it. If you're watching your trim girlish (or boyish) figure, then try a new brand of Greek yogurt I recently found at our local grocery store. It's called Oikos and is in collaboration with Stonyfield Farms. It's organic, has zero fat, 22 grams of protein, and is just as rich and creamy as the regular stuff.