Last night about 30 of us met at church to discuss our May 2013 trip to Israel. Woo hoo! This will be my 4th trip, and I absolutely cannot wait. Have I told you before how much I love Israel? It’s something that goes beyond words. I think you should just come with us and you can feel it for yourself.
Since this will be the first trip for a lot of our people, we thought we’d provide a little “taste of Israel” for them. The menu included hummus (of course), sliced peppers and celery, pita bread, baba ganoush (a mixture of roasted eggplant, garlic and tahini), melons, and falafel. And you can’t very well have falafel without tzaziki sauce. I hadn’t made it before, but I’d had it enough times and seen enough recipes that I knew it couldn’t be too hard. And it wasn’t.
Thanks to Michelle Barry, who asked for the recipe once at the meeting and again in a Facebook comment when she got home last night, here it is. (Thanks for the nudge, Michelle :D)
- 16 ounces of plain Greek Yogurt
- 2 large cucumbers, peeled and seeded
- juice of one lemon (if you don’t get enough juice, you can add lemon juice at the end)
- 3-5 cloves of garlic, depending on the size (see pic below)
- 2 TBSP vinegar (I used orange muscat champagne vinegar)
- 2 TBSP olive oil
- 2 TBSP fresh dill (best) OR 2 tsp dried dill (when it’s all you have 🙁 )
- 1-2 tsp salt, to taste
- 1-2 tsp pepper, to taste
To start, put your Greek yogurt in your VitaMix or blender. Now, some recipes call for regular yogurt, but then they ask you to scoop it into some cheesecloth or a coffee filter and suspend it over a bowl to let all the liquid separate out … yeah, I thought that was a lot of work too. The beauty of Greek yogurt is that it’s already thick and creamy. Your call.
Wash, peel and slice your cucumbers. An easy way to scoop out the seeds is to use a spoon:
Then, depending on the power of your blender, cut it into smaller chunks. I’m using a VitaMix, which handles this stuff like a pro, but I’m still in the habit of doing a rough cut before I add vegetables.
Add the cucumber chunks to the blender, then juice one lemon (watching for seeds) and add that to the mix. I’ve had all sorts of fancy citrus juicers over the years, but I always come back to this simple little gadget:
Now for the garlic. The world is divided into two camps when it comes to garlic: the “Do we dare add another one-sixteenth of a clove?” group, and the “Yeeeeee-hawwww! Let’s peel up ten more!” group. I am the president of the latter. So just keep that in mind whenever I tell you to add garlic. Here’s what I added to the pot (because two were just plain tiny, and if I left that third one out, it was going to look pathetic up on the windowsill all by its lonesome):
Now add your olive oil and vinegar. You can use plain vinegar (and most recipes call for it), but I always like an excuse to use this vinegar I picked up at Trader Joe’s:
From here on out, it’s all according to your taste. I started with one tsp each of the salt, dill and pepper, but kept adding from there. I’m pretty sure when it was all said and done, I had added 2-2 1/2 tsp salt, 1 1/2 tsp pepper, and at least 2 tsp of dried dill (all I had … I couldn’t find fresh dill anywhere). Just start with a little of the seasonings, blend it all up, and see what you like. I also felt like it could use just a bit more tang, so I added another tablespoon of lemon juice from the bottle in the fridge.
I’ll be having some of this later as a salad dressing. I can also envision this drizzled all over baked chicken … or as a dip for kabobs … or just in a tall glass with a straw. 😀