Tzatziki

Total Time:
19 min
Prep:
15 min
Inactive:
4 min

Yield:
2 1/2 cups
Level:
Easy

CATEGORIES
Ingredients
  • 1 pound (1 pint) plain yogurt (whole milk or low fat)
  • 1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled and seeded
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (1 lemon)
  • 1 tablespoon good olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh dill
  • Pinch freshly ground black pepper
Directions

Place the yogurt in a cheesecloth or paper towel-lined sieve and set it over a bowl. Grate the cucumber and toss it with 1 tablespoon of kosher salt; place it in another sieve, and set it over another bowl. Place both bowls in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 hours so the yogurt and cucumber can drain.

Transfer the thickened yogurt to a large bowl. Squeeze as much liquid from the cucumber as you can and add the cucumber to the yogurt. Mix in the sour cream, vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, dill, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper. You can serve it immediately, but I prefer to allow the tzatziki to sit in the refrigerator for a few hours for the flavors to blend. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

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    Best tzatziki recipe I've come across to date.
    Rinse the cucumbers and dry them with a towel before adding them into the yogurt. This will cut down on the salt. Not really rocket science but anyway... 
    Great recipe. Even better with a little fresh mint chopped in as well. Delish!
    I was nervous making it. seemed an unlikely combo, dairy and lemon, but it was amazing. Go, make it now. I'll wait. Yummy doesn't begin to do it justice. Ina, I'll never doubt you again.
    Best tzatziki i've made yet! I scaled it down to about half because thats all the yogurt I had on hand. I also left out the vinegar because I was out. It was still the best tasting tzatziki that Ive had homemade. I saw a lot of reviews about the amount of salt; and if we're talking table salt then its way to much. But, kosher salt is different, so if table salt is all you have then i would cut it down to a little under half of what it calls for.
    Wonderful!
    The reason for the large amount of salt: she salts the cucumber to remove excess water. Traditionally, tzatziki is very thick. If you don't remove all of the water from the cucumbers AND the yogurt your sauce/dip will be super runny. Just don't add any extra salt as seasoning in the end.
    WAY TOO MUCH SALT . . . After following the recipe, you may likely have to triple the ingredients other than salt . . .If you only bought enough to make the recipe as written, it's back to the store for you . . .
    Delicious recipe! I cut the salt as well. I used 1 teaspoon.
    I cut the salt before even trying to make it (actually thought that much salt was a typo but the recipe is delicious and it's a staple food in the fridge for a quick and healthy snack!
    Way too much salt!! Had to throw it out and start over! Cut it to 1/2 tsp? I should have known better, but sometimes you trust them!!
    Delicious if you cut the salt to about two teaspoons total. But the recipe is ridiculously complicated for a sauce that can be made by throwing all the ingredients in a blender and pressing a button.
    The whole point is to make the sauce thick and all the water from the cucumbers will ruin that. Eating it right away it won't matter as much but you will get a nasty layer of wet smelly water if you leave it to rest overnight.
    This was a nice dip, but way too much salt. I used English cucumbers and didn't get that much water out them anyways. I will make it again, but use way less salt.
    Delicious! We loved this recipe. Followed it exactly and it was scrumptious!
    Wonderful! Love Ina! I left out vinegar & dill, still fantastic. Used in lamb souvlaki.
    Definitely use Greek yogurt (allowing you to skip the cheesecloth issue, peel the cukes -- cucumber skin is gross with wax, etc. -- dice the cucumber and press out the moisture in paper towels to again avoid the cheesecloth. The sour cream is completely unnecessary and knock the salt to 1 teaspoon total. I found by tweaking the recipe in this manner, I have a perfect Tzatziki and a fantastic summer appetizer.
    This is very good! I also put in about a tablespoon of fresh mint, minced. I've added this to my "Favorites" file. I love Ina's recipes!
    T'heck with what the food authenticity-people say: This is far better than any tzatziki I've had in restaurants.
    WOW! Way too much salt! I had to add an additional container of yogurt to cut the salt. Also, you can skip the straining process and just buy Greek yogurt. Other than that, a very refreshing dip.
    Authentic or not, this is a great tzatziki sauce. I know that Ina tends to like more salt than I, but I always taste as I go, so I didn't over salt it to my taste. My market didn't have Greek yogurt so I used the regular yogurt & drained. this is best made a day before you need it so the flavors can meld together. This is great in a gyro with roast lamb & Greek salad.
    I made this with greek yogurt, so only had to wait on the drained cucumbers. It was great after sitting in the fridge a few hours and EXCELLENT after sitting a day or so. I will definately make this again!
    To the individual who said this is "not an acceptable Tzatziki sauce." I'm Italian, and if I listened to everything my Grandmother taught me about cooking, I would not be the successful caterer I am today. Although I value my heritage and it's cooking techniques, I love experimenting. Perhaps you're too closed minded about this recipe and your Greek heritage (assuming you are Greek). Cooking is about having fun and being creative! Lighten up!!
    Everyone knows Ina is my favorite chef. This particular recipe is full of great flavor, but too much salt and possibly too much yogurt and sour cream. I will make it again with less salt and yogurt and might even omit the sour cream altogether.
    Excellent! Just leave yourself enough time for the flavors to marry.
    I made the entire Go Greek meal for fathers day. My dad loves greek food but never gets it. The entire meal was a huge hit. My husband loved this tzatziki, even though he hates cucumbers. I am looking forward to making this again.
    This is not an acceptable tzatziki sauce at all. Tzatziki is one of the greatest dipping sauces and it is very simple to make with limited ingredients.
     
     This recipe calls for way too much salt. And nobody who cares about good tzatziki uses American yogurt. Plus, there is ZERO vinegar of any kind. And you don't use sour cream. It's a YOGURT sauce.
     
     In fact, the only thing that is in play is whether or not to use chopped dill, chopped mint, or both.
     
     Tzatzkiki is two cups of GREEK or a Mediterranean yogurt, drained of water by letting it sit in a fine mesh strainer over a bowl. 30 minutes. Transfer to a new bowl. Juice of one lemon. One garlic clove. A tablespoon of mint or dill. Or a combo. A pinch of salt. In fact, you don't even need salt. NO PEPPER. Two cucumbers, peeled and seeded. FINELY CHOP THE CUKES AND GARLIC WITH A KNIFE. You do NOT need a blender or a food processor unless you want it really, really creamy. Don't drain the cukes with salt. You want some of the cukes' natural water. That's why you seed them.
     
     Anyway, blend all the ingredients together with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Let chill for 2 hours. Toss tons of pita triangles into the oven at 200 - 250 degrees until they get a little crispness. Remove from oven. Dip into the Tzatziki.
     
     ENJOY. Oh, and you're welcome.
    I think this recipe could be quite tasty if it wasn't so massively salty. I will probably try it again with half the salt (or less), but when I made it last night I ended up having to throw it away because it was so salty it was inedible.
     
     FWIW, I used a standard coarse kosher salt. I understand that using a finer salt than the recipe writer can result in substantial differences, but in this case I just think more than a tablespoon of salt (of any kind) is just too much.
     
     I normally like recipes I get from Barefoot Contessa, but this one just didn't measure up.
    Tzatziki, does not contain any sour cream ever. Use only yogurt, a little dill, and cucumbers. Strain through a cheese cloth in the refrigerator for 24 hours. That is the real deal.
     
     A good cucumber sauce recipe... definitely not Tzatziki though.
    I decided to make some Greek inspired burgers and went looking for a recipe for Tzatziki. I saw several that called for mint but didn't remember every tasting mint in the Tzatziki we've had. I love watching the Barefoot Contessa, so I thought I would try her recipe. As my husband said, "It tastes like Tzatziki!" We were both excited to have authentic tasting tzatziki at my first attempt. I used the Greek yogurt that I found at the local grocery store, as I saw in reviews that it makes a big difference and doesn't necessarily require the time to drain extra liquid out of it. We only had a little taste tonight, and we're letting the flavors mingle overnight. We'll have our Greek burgers tomorrow with Ina Garten's Tzatziki.
    Love this recipe...tastes exactly like the one i picked up from whole foods...however i was soo excited to try out the recipe that i didn't read the reviews which i usually do.I used kosher salt and i find it a bit on the saltier side..i would suggest adding all the other ingrediants and then decide if the salt is needed...
    I LOVE Gyros and am pretty picky about my tzatziki and this recipe was DELICIOUS!! I used Greek yogurt and I think that really made a difference. I used a half of a large English cucumber because they didn't have hothouse at the store, low fat sour cream to keep the fat down and champange vinegar since I didn't have white wine on hand. What I did not do was drain the cukes and yogurt (since I used Greek I figured I didn't need to) I just squeezed as much moisture as I could out of the cukes. I used the juice of a small lemon, I don't think it was the full two tablespoons but I didn't measure. I let it sit for about an hour to let the flavors meld. I bet it's going to be even better tomorrow! I used a pound of Greek yogurt as the recipe called for and it made WAY more than two cups, but I'm happy to have leftovers! I used the sauce with a NY Sirlion Steak, grilled and thinly sliced with a Pampered Chef Greek Rub that I let sit on the steak for the hour I was letting the sauce sit. Whole wheat pitas, lettuce, tomato and feta. I may never go OUT for Gyros again!
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    Recipe courtesy of Ina Garten