Tzatziki is super-easy to make and is super delish. It makes a lovely side salad on its own, and is great as an addition to grilled fish, steak, and more.
Peel and grate cucumbers. Some cooks recommend de-seeding but I don’t bother with that. The size of the grate is up to you – I prefer to use a large cut grater to keep nice sized bits of cucumber in the mix, but others may prefer a finer grater for a smoother consistency.
Lightly salt your grated cucumbers and place in a fine-mesh sieve and set over a bowl to drain the excess liquid. Don’t be tempted to try to drink or use the resulting liquid as it will be very salty! (I don’t always do this and quite enjoy a very ‘wet’ tzatziki, but if you want a firmer end consistency then salting and draining is a necessary step.)
Once you’ve prepared your grated cucumber (with or without draining), simply mix with a greek styled yoghurt.
I tend to try to use a firm pre-strained yoghurt, and for culinary connoisseurs, the very best yoghurt to use would be sheep’s milk yoghurt which can be obtained in fine food stores.
Use a garlic press and press in a clove or two of fresh garlic (garden grown being, of course, the best!)
Once well mixed put into a container and place into the fridge for half a day for the flavours to mix. And that’s it!
When serving you can sprinkle with paprika and add a drizzle of fine virgin olive oil.
Other additions include fresh cut dill or mint, depending on your tastes.
But a note of caution! One summer I spent much of the time with my aunt and fisherman uncle in Toronto. He had a heart condition and could not eat salt, so I made the Tzatziki without salt but did add lots of garlic, which was a super addition to bar-b-q steak and fish dinners. When I returned to London he went to his doctor for a check-up and his doctor was alarmed at how thin his blood was. After much head-scratching they figured out that the fresh garlic in my copious pots of tzatziki had thinned his blood. So if you are on blood thinners be careful with your consumption of fresh garlic!