Julia's Tzatziki - click to see full size

Note: for best results begin this early in the day you need it, if not the evening before

2 C Greek yogurt*

2 cloves garlic, finely minced

1 big cucumber, peeled, seeded and coarsely grated (preferably one of those long fancy English ones),

1 T lemon juice

1 T olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

1 T chopped dill or mint

*if you cannot get Greek yogurt, which is thick, put regular yogurt in a cheesecloth lined strainer and let it sit for at least three hours. The yogurt will thicken; throw away the juice. If you have time and space, put the yogurt to drain overnight in the fridge.

Put some salt on the coarsely grated cucumber and let it drain for several hours – you want to get as much moisture as you can out of it. Give it a good squeeze with your hands at the end of the draining.

Mix everything together and let it all sit for a few hours, or overnight, in the fridge so the flavors will blend nicely. Garnish with chopped parsley (or mint or dill if that’s what you used) just before serving.

You can put in any flavoring herb you wish, but dill or mint are most commonly used. Tzatziki is excellent served with meat, especially lamb – a nice change from green mint jelly.

Some recipes call for the addition of sour cream, perhaps 1/2 cup.  Not necessary, in my opinion.

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