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30Jun/120

Tzatziki, a Most Versatile Sauce

Garlic scapes on the shelf

I love tzatziki. So does Hunter. Chris, not so much (not being a fan of cucumbers.) I love dipping pita chips in it, but I also love it slathered on top of falafel, and as a dipping sauce for samosas. I know, this is probably sacrilegious to some people - mixing a Greek sauce with Middle Eastern or Indian food. But I don't care! It's delicious. I have always loved dill pickles, and loved creamy dairy products, so it's no surprise that I love tzatziki.

I also thought tzatziki would be a good way to use up some cucumbers we got with our farm share, and also some garlic scapes (which, by the way, if you have recently come into a large quantity of scapes, the best way to keep them is to put them in a vase with water as you would flowers, and keep them on the kitchen counter.) If you don't have any Greek yogurt, you can always just strain some regular plain yogurt through a cheese cloth to get the correct sour-cream-like consistency of Greek yogurt.

Tzatziki

  • 3 cups Greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 garlic scape, sliced (do not use the flower bud, or the part above it)
  • 2 medium cucumbers
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt or coarse sea salt
  • 1 heaping tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  • 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
  • pepper and additional salt to taste (I personally did not need any extra salt)

Cut cucumbers in half lengthwise, and scrape out the seeds with a small spoon. Dice cucumbers, then place in a colander and sprinkle with salt. Allow them to sit in the colander at room temperature for 30 minutes to drain out the extra water. Pat dry with a paper towel.

Take three-quarters of the cucumbers and put in a food processor with the blade attachment. Add the garlic scapes, lemon juice, dill, and vinegar. Process until finely chopped. Stir this mixture into the yogurt along with the reserved diced cucumbers. Add pepper to taste, and additional salt if necessary (make sure to taste it first! Remember you already salted the cucumbers!)

Place tzatziki in the refrigerator and allow to chill for a couple of hours so the flavors can meld.

I have been able to keep my tzatziki for a week or more in the refrigerator (depending on the original age or sell-by date of the yogurt.) However, you will need to drain off any excess water from the top and stir well each time before serving.

 

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