The ingredient ratios are pretty flexible with this recipe. Start with 1 pint (470 mL) Greek-style yogurt, 2 cloves garlic, 1 medium cucumber (we'll actually only use half a cucumber), 1 tablespoon (15 mL) red wine vinegar, and 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil. Anghelika says her grandmother kept telling her to make sure to remember the vinegar (as if it was the secret to her tsatsiki recipe).
The amount of garlic used in this recipe is up to the individual's taste. I suggest starting with the two cloves and adjusting to taste when you make tsatsiki in the future.
Peel the garlic cloves and cut off the woody ends. Pulverizing the cloves as best as you can. You can mince the garlic with a knife, rub it with the tings of a fork, run it through a garlic press, or use a zester (shown in the picture).
Peel the cucumber. Split the cucumber in half (cut crosswise) and then again along the length of the cucumber to expose the seeds. A teaspoon or similar implement can then be used to scrape out the seeds. Whenever I work with cucumbers, I always cut a little bit and taste it before I add it to a recipe. If a cucumber is old or not good quality, it can taste bitter instead of slightly sweet and refreshing. Using a cucumber like that can ruin a recipe pretty easily.
Cut up one half cucumber into small strips. You can use a coarse grater for this if you don't like fine knife work.
Cucumbers contain a lot of water which we don't want to introduce to the Greek-style yogurt. (Greek-style yogurt or Bulgarian yogurt is strained to remove excess liquid, so it's a bit thicker than "standard" yogurt. It also tastes a bit different - the flavor seems closer to a really good sour cream than to plain Yoplait.) Take the chopped up cucumber and squeeze it. You can do this by placing it in a piece of cheesecloth and squeezing. My favorite method - squeeze it in your fist.
Add the drained cucumber to the garlic.
Mix the garlic, cucumber, olive oil, and vinegar together. Stir it around a little to separate the little garlic and cucumber pieces.
Put the yogurt in a container large enough to stir in the garlic and cucumber mixture without making a mess. I scooped the yogurt into a 1 quart container.
Add the garlic and cucumber mixture to the yogurt.
Stir until everything is evenly distributed in the yogurt. Stir in salt to taste. I found that 1/4 teaspoon table salt was a good amount.
This step is really important - refrigerate for at least a day. Right after mixing the yogurt, the tsatsiki is a bit runny and somewhat flavorless (it just tastes like the yogurt). After refrigerating for a day, the garlic flavor permeates the thickened tsatsiki.}?>
|1 pint (470 mL) Greek-style yogurt||mix||refrigerate 1 day|
|2 cloves garlic||mince||mix|
|1/2 medium cucumber||finely shred||drain|
|1 Tbs. (15 mL) red wine vinegar|
|1 Tbs. (15 mL) extra virgin olive oil|
|1/4 tsp. (1.5 g) table salt|