Aside from being a great party dip, tzatziki is also delicious served with roasted or grilled meats, or with the lamb meatballs. Chopping the garlic in the salt is a Greek trick that brings out garlic’s punch. Raw garlic, however, becomes acrid rather quickly so to be at its best, tzatziki should be made the day of serving or no more than 24 hours ahead.
Spread 3/4 tsp. salt on a cutting board. Peel the garlic and finely chop it on top of the salt. Transfer the garlic and salt to a medium bowl and stir in the yogurt.
Put the cucumber in a colander and squeeze as much liquid out of it as you can. Add the cucumber, vinegar, mint, dill, and olive oil to the yogurt mixture. Stir to blend and season to taste with salt. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours before serving. Serve cool, garnished with the mint leaves (if using) and accompanied by fresh pita wedges or toasted pita chips.
Make Ahead Tips
The dip can be made up to a day ahead.
nutrition information (per serving):
per 1 Tbs., Calories
1.5, Fat Calories
10, Saturated Fat
1, Monounsaturated Fat
0, Polyunsaturated Fat
Photo: Scott Phillips