Its Friday so let’s try to lighten up the mood a little, shall we? One of the Buzzfeed food guys, Pernell Quilon, broke down Florence Pugh’s tzatziki recipe and it’s so easy, I thought why not pass it along? I usually associate tzatziki with more summer recipes, but our days as yet hover in the low 80s here in So Cal, so I guess mentally I’ve still got one foot in summer.
Anyway, as many of you know, Florence is a good home cook, and she posts many of her recipes to YouTube from her beautiful kitchen. This recipe only takes six minutes, or so Flo claims, and six ingredients, most of which you probably have in your kitchen already. I’ll give you the Buzzfeed breakdown and post Florence’s video below.
Here’s the six ingredients you need for the tzatziki: full-fat Greek yogurt, cucumber, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper. As for tools, all you need is a grater and a bowl to mix it all in. If you already have the salt, pepper, and olive oil, the total cost of making your own tzatziki is under $5. The Greek yogurt I got was small, so I’d say the ingredients below could satisfy up to two people. That can, of course, be expanded easily.
STEP #1: First, start by dumping your yogurt into a bowl.
STEP #2: Next, add lots of olive oil to the yogurt.
STEP #3: Add a little bit of salt and a lot of pepper.
STEP #4: Cut a portion of the cucumber, since we won’t be using the whole pre-pickled dill — all you need is about six inches! Grate your cut cucumber directly into your mixture of yogurt, oil, salt, and pepper.
STEP #5: Take 1–3 cloves of garlic, depending on your liking, and grate on the finest side of your grater directly into the bowl until unable to safely continue.
STEP #6: Finally, mix it all together
Here are my notes: Florence is pretty insistent on full fat yogurt for the tzatziki. I’m not Greek, let me make that perfectly clear, but I’ve made tzatziki with non-fat yogurt before. Florence says in her video below she’s going to be mad at me, but I think we’ll work it out. It’s a dip, not a sauce, so it doesn’t need the fat to coat the starches in the cooking. It’s a taste factor thing. I’ve found the non-fat to make it tangier. I mention this also because I’ve had trouble finding full-fat plain yogurt, tbh. Anyway, you do you. Pernell plays with ingredient amounts as he’s making it and you should too. Go light to begin and add more if you need it. Pull back on the salt and pepper and garlic until you know how much you want. The beauty of tzatziki is the marriage of mellow and zesty. It should have a kick to it, but not punch you as soon as it hits your tongue. Also, Hecate note: always keep a lemon handy. If you get too heavy with that salt or garlic, give it a shot of lemon juice to balance it out. The other thing is, Flo and Pernell talk about grating the cucumber and garlic. I know grating is a pain in the tuchus and hell on your nails, but you want to do it here. I find chunks work against blending the flavors. Oh, and one warning: in the article, Pernell said this only costs $5 if you have olive oil, salt and pepper in your pantry. If you don’t, this is closer to $20, depending on how good your oil is.
Now that you have your fab little tangy tzatziki, what do you put it on? As Florence and Pernell mention, it goes with so much. Try crudité, fish, raw or roasted veggies, chips. Trader Joes sells Gyro slices, grab those, some Pita bread, red onion, tomato and lettuce to whip up a nice little sandwich. Pernell suggested a salad, it’s a heavy dip but it could work with a heavy ruffage, maybe. Veggie pizza tastes great dipped in it. The recipe above is for two people, which is good. Tzatziki doesn’t keep long. I always end up throwing some out and it breaks my heart.
Oh my gawd, I almost forgot the most important part! As Flo will show you below, when you finish mixing, you have to lift the tzatziki bowl and dance in a circle. This invokes the Cucumber Goddess’ blessing, otherwise the yogurt curdles… or so the legend goes 😉.
Photo credit: Avalon Red, YouTube and Instagram