Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Tzatziki - Weekend Herb Blogging

For this week’s Weekend Herb Blogging, I’m using the delicate and feathery, dill. Dill, like parsley, is a member of the carrot family. The leaves are used as an herb and the seed is used as a spice. The larger stems are often tough and woody but they can be saved and tossed into a soup for a light flavoring. Dill is used with salmon, soups, vegetables, and rice all over Europe and Asia. It is also one of the main components in Tzatziki sauce.

Tzatziki is a very popular Greek sauce and appetizer. The word is derived from the Turkish word for “chutney.” It is a mixture of strained yogurt, or Greek-style yogurt, cucumbers, seasoned with olive oil, garlic, vinegar or lemon juice, and herbs. The sauce is traditionally served with pita bread as an appetizer and is the condiment of choice for gyros. I used this with some Greek meatballs.

Tzatziki Sauce
16 oz. Greek style yogurt*
1 cucumber, washed and peeled
3 - 4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 1/2 to 2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
1/2 tsp salt

*Greek style yogurt is much thicker and richer than normal yogurt. If you can’t get a hold of it you can make your own. Place some plain yogurt in a cheesecloth, tie up the edges and hang it over a bowl or place the cheesecloth in a strainer over a bowl in the fridge for a few hours.

Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds with a small spoon. Then coarsely grate the cucumber.

Gather the grated cucumber in a cheesecloth or paper towel and squeeze out the excess water, otherwise the tzatziki will be too runny.

Mix the grated cucumber with everything else.

This week’s WHB is hosted by Pat of Up A Creek Without A Patl.

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