Adapted from Maria Loi’s recipe in The Greek Diet (2014). Of course Tzatziki can be used as a sauce or dip, but I just like to eat it with a spoon. As Maria (“the Martha Stewart of Greece”) points out, you don’t need much to feel full when you are eating full-fat yogurt.
On the other hand, Tzatziki is great for summertime lunches and if you use nonfat yogurt, it is basically a low-cal salad. I have tried using the tender little cucumbers from my garden whole, but I advise you to peel and seed cukes of any size and provenance to avoid bitterness.
16 ounces plain Greek yogurt
3 garlic cloves, peeled
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 to 4 sprigs of fresh dill, stems removed and roughly chopped, or 1 teaspoon dried dill
Peel the cucumbers. Using the large holes of a box grater, grate them into a sieve or colander. Lightly salt the grated cucumber (this helps draw out the moisture), cover the sieve with plastic wrap, and allow the cucumber to drain overnight. (Note: Placing a heavy plate or glass on top of the covered cucumbers will help the draining process.)
In a large bowl, combine the drained cucumber and yogurt. Mix very well. Using a Microplane grater or a small, sharp knife, grate or mince the garlic. Stir the garlic into the yogurt mixture. Stir in the olive oil and vinegar and mix well. Cover the bowl with plastic and refrigerate for about 1 hour.
Stir in the dill and refrigerate until serving.