It’s All Greek to Me. Simple Tzatziki Recipe.


August is the month for Greek festivals in NY and there are plenty of them on Long Island.

While at the greek festivals I love to walk around with a few greek beers, usually Mythos  while working up an appetite for the delicious Grecian delights.

Sometimes I’ll hang out by the roulette wheel and games of chance or just watch the elders dance under the traditional blue and white tents. It’s looks like so much fun but I don’t understand the lyrics or wave like arm movements so I usually sit back and live vicariously throught them. No matter where you go to a Greek festival, chances are you’ll see a few people on the dance floor working up a thirst and perhaps imbibing a bit too much of their Helenic spirits.

Usually the foods are prepared by local members of the church and community….and they stand by their tride and true old school recipes.

You’ve got you traditional standards such as  Spanakopita, spinach and cheese pie,  Tyropitakia, cheese pie triangles,  Pastitsio, a creamy cheesy baked pasta with meat and  Dolmades, the nasty sweaty grap leaves stuffed with rice and mint.

But my favorite thing at the Greek festival is not what you would expect. It’s not the cheese pie, it’s not the beer..we’ll it might be the beer, but for now I’ll tell you that it’s the Greek yogurt sauce that you get with your gyro….pronounced (gee-row).  I always have to ask for more and you can never get it fresh in the super market so I decided to call up my Greek friend and ask how to make it. So here you go…..the freshest, most delicious Tzatziki that you will ever have.

Tzatziki (Greek Yogurt and Cucumber Sauce)

Makes about 3 1/2 cups.

 3 cups Greek Yogurt
juice of one lemon (about 3 T)
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 medium cucumbers, diced
1 Tbsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp finely minced fresh dill  and Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Peel cucumbers, then cut in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. ( throw out the seeds)                     Slice cucumbers into small chunks, then put in a colander and sprinkle on 1 T salt on them and let stand for 1/2 an hour to draw out water.                                                           

Toss the following ingredients in the food processor. Cucumbers, garlic, lemon juice, dill, and a dash of black pepper. Pulse until blended into a thick soup-like consistency, then stir this mixture into the yogurt.                                                                    

Let rest in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Enjoy with your Gyro, fresh veggies or just dip fresh pita bread in it….you will not be disappointed.

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