Monday, July 13, 2009

Tzatziki Sauce

I absolutely love Greek food, so I feel very lucky to live in a city with a fabulous Greek area filled with amazing Greek restaurants! Although I make the trip down to the Danforth a number of times a year, my family has begun replicating our favourite meal on the Danforth in our own home, and I enjoy our home cooked Greek food just as much! We make Saganaki, pork tenderloin, a Greek salad, Greek rice, and Greek potatoes. The only things we don't prepare ourselves is the pita and tzatziki sauce. So this time around I decided to take a leap and make my own! And boy am I glad I did!

I like making my own tzatziki sauce so that I can control how pungent it is. I really like the taste of pungent tzatziki but after eating it, there is noooo way you are going to get me to leave my house, at least not after I have brushed my teeth and tongue about 100 times! This time however, I had no plans to go out so I went all out with my tzatziki. I even went a little against the grain and added in some extra flavour by grating in some onion.
Note: To grate your cucumber and onion, simply use the fine side of a box grater

1 container plain or Greek yogurt
1/4 of a cucumber, peeled, seeded and grated
1 head of garlic
2-3 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
3 tsp onion, grated
1 tbsp olive oil
3 tsp lemon juice
salt to season

1. Pour yogurt into a coffee filter or paper towel sitting in a colander, resting in a bowl. Let sit in fridge for several hours to led the liquid drain out. This step may be skipped if using Greek yogurt.

2. To roast garlic, preheat oven to 400ยบ. Peel off the outer layers of the garlic bulb skin, leaving the skins of the individual garlic cloves intact. Cut off the top of the garlic bulb, about 1/4 - 1/2 inch of the top. This should expose the tops of the cloves inside. Place bulb in a baking pan and brush with olive oil. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes, or until garlic cloves have softened.

3. When garlic is cooked and cooled, remove individual cloves and mix them in a bowl into the strained yogurt. Add the cucumber, dill, onion, olive oil, lemon juice and stir. Taste and season with salt.

4. Serve with Greek style meat and pita bread.

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