I have been fortunate to travel to Greece a few times and love Greek and mediterranean food and especially tzatziki! As I have said before, sauces make the world go around! Tzatziki is a versatile sauce and can be used to add flavor to any vegetable, top a baked potato, as a dip for pita or chips, or to accompany traditional Greek and mediterranean dishes.It is wonderful on falafels! See my Recipe post on Falafels–
Tzatziki is a really simple sauce, traditionally made with yogurt, cucumber, garlic , dill, mint, and olive oil. My version now is oil-free and dairy-free.
Traditionally, this sauce is made with a dairy-based yogurt. Before the thick Greek style yogurt became available, I used to use plain organic yogurt and strain it for hours through cheesecloth to make a richer, thicker consistency. Then, I was delighted that the thick Greek style became popular, and I used that without the need for straining. With my shift to a plant-based lifestyle, I needed to find a good alternative. Lately, I’ve been using an almond based plain yogurt from Kite Hill. When I tasted this yogurt plain, it did not taste a lot like dairy yogurt, but after adding all the ingredients, I think it does make a delicious base for tzatziki, and I loved it just as much as the the original classic.
I wanted to make a quick sauce for my breakfast vegetables (-see my Health post on vegetables for breakfast–http://table-karma.com/weight-loss-vegetables-breakfast/), so I did not take the time to strain the yogurt. It actually turned out great, although a bit wetter than the traditional greek style. Next time I’ll try the straining method. Here’s a tip–if you don’t have cheesecloth, try using a coffee filter supported by a colander or sieve. I also did not take the time to drain the juiciness of the cucumber. For a thicker sauce, you can dry out the cucumbers by draining for a while after chopping or shredding, or squeezing in a paper towel before adding to the yogurt. If you have an English cucumber on hand, that is a good option because they are less juicy to begin with. I just had a regular cucumber, which I used unpeeled, with the center seed section removed, and diced. Peeling is optional, and you can dice or grate the cucumber as desired. You can blend everything together if you want a smoother sauce, but I was going for a really quick–less than 2 minutes–rustic version to top my breakfast!
Here is how I made it:
1 container of non-dairy plain yogurt–I used almond
1/2 cup diced cucumber
1 clove garlic–minced
juice of 1 small lemon
2 tbsp chopped dill–sometimes I also add dried oregano flakes
salt and pepper to taste
sprinkle with cayenne pepper or paprika