Looking for a delicious addition to your lunch line-up or dinner table? Our friend Caeli-Rose from @happierinthekitchen shared her Homemade Tzatziki Platter recipe with us, using always-in-season (and always delicious) Mini Cucumbers to make the sauce. It’s guarenteed to take your meals to the next level! This simple sauce comes together in 15 minutes and is bright with traditional Greek flavors. Trust us when we say you are going to want to give this one a try!
Traditional Greek tzatziki has always been one of those majestic wonders in the restaurant world. In my opinion, it’s the hidden gem of what takes Greek food from really good, to really great! It’s served alongside countless dishes, and amplifies the flavors of countless foods, but is almost never given the limelight it deserves. Until recently, I hadn’t ever seen it on the grocery store shelf. Luckily for you, you won’t need to go searching for it any time soon. In fact, you probably already have the ingredients needed to make it in your fridge. And, above all, it’ll take only 15 minutes to come together! Making this homemade Greek Tzatziki Platter is the perfect way to impress your friends, and Pure Flavor® Mini Cucumbers are the perfect ingredient to highlight in this delicious sauce.
START WITH THE CUCUMBERS –
This lovely homemade tzatziki sauce is so simple to make, but it does require some attention to detail. For example, the Pure Flavor® Mini Cucumbers that you use need to be grated and drained of all of the liquid that they naturally hold. To grate, I use a small handheld cheese grater that leaves small, thin strings of cucumber. The reason why I like to use this is because of the texture that this style of grated cucumber brings to the sauce. You get refreshing cucumber in every single bite – no matter how small. Also, I love the look of the very finely grated cucumber. The dark green cucumber skin is eye-catching in what would otherwise be a plain yogurt-based sauce.
You can use a large box grater and have bigger “flakes” of cucumber as well, but it would result in a naturally chunkier sauce, with less of a guarantee of cucumber in each bite. And who wants to chance not getting that flavor! Cucumbers are over 90% water making them super hydrating and so good for you! Because of that, you will need to properly drain it from all of the water that it naturally holds. My preferred way to do this is to take a clean kitchen towel, pile the grated cucumber in the center, gather the ends, and squeeze the liquid out. Even after doing this, blotting with a paper towel, or letting the cucumber pieces sit on some napkins for a while would be a good idea too. Draining the cucumber is arguably the most important step in this recipe, as it removes extra liquid from the final sauce and gives you that perfect texture. If you didn’t remove the extra liquid, the tzatziki sauce would become extremely watery as it sat in the fridge.
CUSTOMIZE IT TO YOUR DIET –
This homemade tzatziki sauce is fairly adaptable based on your dietary needs and flavor preferences. For example, some tzatziki recipes call for fresh mint, and some for fresh dill. I personally prefer to use fresh dill, as it has a similar bite as mint does and simultaneously takes your senses on a ride of spicy aromatics! As for the citrus element, you can get wild and substitute the freshly squeezed (please, always use freshly squeezed!) lemon juice with another citrus of choice.
For dietary preferences, this sauce is naturally gluten-free and vegetarian, but can easily be made vegan by using a dairy-free Greek yogurt. Regardless of the swaps that you make, it’s a simple, delicious addition to your “back pocket” secret recipe book.
I highly recommend making this homemade sauce the day before you need it. When given those 24 hours in the refrigerator, the flavors have no option but to melt into one another and intensify. However, if you’re making it for something last minute, the good news is that with only 30 minutes to an hour in the fridge, the flavors will still have enough time to work together and create magic. Just know that the sauce will only get better the longer it sits before serving.
A PERFECT ADDITION TO ANY MEAL –
So now that you know how to make this fresh Greek tzatziki, with the proper technique for grating and draining the cucumbers, you may be wondering how you actually use this sauce. Well, I’m pretty happy you asked! Homemade tzatziki can be used as a simple meat marinade. It will tenderize it and is delicious on the grill! (Just be sure to throw out the sauce that touches the raw meat.) It could also be used as a topping for steak, chicken, or veggie shish kabobs or as a dip with your favorite veggies. My personal favorite way to use it though is in a Greek bowl alongside chickpeas, cherry tomatoes, Kalamata olives, sliced Pure Flavor® Mini Cucumbers, feta cheese crumbles, and pita bread.
Creamy, tangy, and always refreshing, using this sauce as part of a homemade Greek Tzatziki Plater is the perfect way to take lunch or dinner up a notch. Made with always-in-season Pure Flavor® Mini Cucumbers, Greek yogurt, garlic, and lemon juice; it’s the dip, marinade, and sauce, you didn’t know you needed until now! I hope you enjoy it!