In Cyprus the yoghurt is so thick, you can invert the tub and it won’t budge. Combined with cucumber, mint and garlic, tzatziki is a staple on the meze table, a contrasting fresh accompaniment to a hot juicy souvlaki, the perfect excuse to wipe your plate with a wedge of pita bread.
Don’t limit it to the meze table, thin it out with olive oil and white balsamic and dress an avocado salad, spoon it onto some lamb chops, smear it into a wrap, or dollop onto an open sandwich.
It is so easy to make, and tastes infinitely better than store bought.
Like many Mediterranean recipes, each household has its own version, here’s mine:
A fresh and delicious Mediterranean dip, a staple on the meze table.
-½ English Cucumber
-500g thick full fat Greek style plain yoghurt (Gourmet Greek is the closest I can find to Cypriot yoghurt)
-a few sprigs of fresh mint plus 1 tsp dried mint
-1/2 clove garlic – crushed (or to taste)
-salt and pepper
Slice the cucumber lengthways and scoop out the seeds with a teaspoon.
Peel the cucumber. I like to leave a bit of peel for colour.
Chop finely or coarsely grate the cucumber.
Place the cucumber into a colander and salt.
Leave to stand for about 30 mins over a bowl to drain the water.
Squeeze as much water out as possible.
Mix the cucumber, mint, yoghurt, garlic, salt and pepper.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes for the flavours to infuse.