There are so many variations of tzatziki sauce it is hard to keep up with. I like a very robust and rich sauce. It is important to make at least 4 hours ahead to ensure all the flavors blend together. This is great to make and just have in the refrigerator for a quick snack with some other veggies, dress a sandwich or burger or really anything you want. In addition to using the freshest ingredients, both grating and chopping of the cucumber makes a big difference on the dip.
- 2 cups of 0% fat Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup of creme fraiche or sour cream
- 1 large hothouse cucumber, unpeeled but seeded, quartered, grated and chopped*
- 1/4 cup finely crumbled feta cheese, try to find feta stored in brine
- 2 lemons, zested and 1 juiced (use the other lemon for something else)
- 4 tablespoons of fresh dill, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoon of fresh basil, finely chopped
- 1 to 2 garlic clove(s), minced
- 1 pinch of sugar
- 3-4 tablespoons of red onion, finely chopped
- 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
*Hot-house cucumbers can be found in almost every store, they are individually wrapped, crisp and consistently good, especially when farm-stand “cukes” are not in season. Take your knife and slice the cucumber in half lengthwise, take a spoon and run down the inside removing and discarding the seeds. Cut each in half by its width leaving you with four quarters. Take a box grater, pressing the dark green skin against the most course option, then grate 2/3 of it without grating your fingers off. Finely chop what you cannot grate (you want both grated and chopped) for the dip
Mix all of the ingredients and set in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. Drizzle some additional olive oil and sprinkle a few pinches of dill before serving.
Regular supermarket cucumbers are not ideal for this dish as the skins are thick, likely rubbed with some sort of oil to pretty them up for the produce display and usually tasteless. The quality of the yogurt, feta and freshness of the herbs and cucumber are the heart of this dish.