One of my favorite things to do with friends is catch up over lunch or coffee. Our conversations usually cover the usually topics of hubbys, kids (theirs) and food (mine).
The other day during one of these wonderful catch up sessions, we started talking about things to put on a burger. (Yep, we are that exciting!)
The banter sort of went like this…
Me: Grilled onions
Me: No, Tzatziki.
Friend: Bless you. Do you have allergies?
Me: NO, I am talking bout tzatziki sauce.
Friend: Never heard of it.
Me: Here let me tell you….
Friend: (Rolls eyes and asks herself why she ever goes to lunch with me.)
I think most people KNOW what tzatziki sauce is they may not know the name.
Most Americans know it as the white sauce served with gyros or grilled meat when they eat at a Greek restaurant. Or they just have no clue how to pronounce it because there are too many weird consonants together. (No offense to folks who have a lot of consonants in their name and if it makes you feel better I had to look up how to spell consonant!)
There are actually an incredible amount of variations all over the world of tzatziki from appetizer to soup to side dish. The one common element is strained yogurt and cucumber.
The version I make is simply yogurt, cucumber, red wine vinegar, garlic and dill. But you can change the herbs to your fancy like mint, parsley or thyme. You can even go wild and add some spices like cumin or sumac. It really is all in how you like it and how you want to pair it.
It is at this point in the conversation (lecture) with my friends that she looks at her phone and has to get going because there is an emergency at home. (Um, don’t phones usually make a noise when a message or call comes in or at the very least light up?)
I’ve got to get going too…I’m in the mood for lamb burgers with some tzatziki sauce!!!
16 ounces Greek yogurt (plain)
1 cucumber (I usually buy the Japanese ones)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp red wine vinegar
1-3 tsp of chopped dill (I used 2 heaping teaspoons but it might be too much for the average person.)
Dump yogurt into a tea towel and gather the edges. Use a piece of cooking twine and bind it on top. Tie it to a chopstick or a knife and suspend it over a bowl in the fridge for at least 2-3 hours.
Meanwhile, use a box grater to grate the cucumber. Mix in about a half teaspoon of salt and let it drain in a colander.
After everything is done drying out a little, mix the yogurt, cucumber, red wine vinegar and garlic in a bowl. Add about half the dill you want to use now and let chill in fridge for about an hour. (It won’t be dry-dry. You are just trying to get rid of the excess liquid.)
I sprinkle in more dill right before I serve it because I like how the vibrant the smell is of fresh chopped dill.
Serve on burgers, grilled meats or even as a veggie dip.
But whatever you do…don’t lecture your friends on condiments that they do not know about or their phone might go off all of a sudden!