Tzatziki Cucumber Salad

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Fresh, cool, crunchy, creamy, and delicious Tzatziki, which is basically a Greek cucumber salad made with thick, strained yogurt, and seasoned with dill and garlic. Uh, yum, right? If you’ve ever had tzatziki, you know what I’m talking about!

It’s funny because I’ve known about tzatziki for a long time, enjoying it at restaurants and such, that wonderful Greek yogurt sauce dip wonder. I’ve seen several cucumber salad recipes around this summer on some of my favorite recipe sites like foodgawker; German cucumber salads, normal cucumber salads, and others. It got me hungry, so I decided to make my own. And let me tell you, I got right on it because zero cooking or baking in a recipe is a wonderful thing when the summer here in Florence has been between 90-106°F / 32-41°C since June.

I noticed most of the recipes I came across used sour cream, but I used plain greek yogurt because it’s more nutritious. Once I found a nice balance between the flavors, I wrote down the recipe and decided to share it with you guys! Then I recalled that tzatziki has very similar flavors, and although I’ve never made it nor even looked up a recipe, my curiosity got the best of me to see just how similar they would be. What do you know, I basically made tzatziki and didn’t even know it! So much for making an original recipe, haha!

So what I’m sharing with you today is my accidental take on tzatziki, similarly enough to be called so, but not THE original. If you make the changes listed below, however, you can have yourself a delicious and authentic Greek tzatziki!

What are the differences from a traditional tzatziki and the one you see below?

  • The cucumber is usually grated and drained (either by squeezing or letting sit in cheese cloth over a bowl overnight) instead of sliced. I also use more cucumber to make a creamy salad rather than a dip that features cucumber. if you want to make real tzatziki, use a half of a large cucumber or a smallish one.

  • Traditional would have more yogurt so again, more of a sauce or dip rather than a salad. For real tzatziki, double the yogurt to 1 1/2 cups / 340g.

  • For the acidic element, I used lemon juice, but vinegar of some sort is usually called for. I’ve read in Greece they most often use red wine vinegar.

  • I added more fresh dill! Because I love dill. If you think about it, this is like a creamy dill pickle dip. It has the cucumbers, the garlic, the dill….no wonder I like it so well! For original tzatziki, use about 1 Tbsp chopped.

If you eliminate the cucumbers (or shred them like the traditional way), it makes an excellent and much healthier alternative to most veggie dips. I might even like it better than Ranch!


Tzatziki Cucumber Salad

Serves about 2

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Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup / 170g plain greek yogurt or vegan yogurt

  • generous 2 Tbsp chopped fresh dill

  • 2 tsp / 10g lemon juice

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced, or 1/4 tsp garlic powder

  • salt and pepper, to taste

  • 1 large cucumber, chopped with skin/seeds removed as desired

  • extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling, optional

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl combine yogurt, dill, lemon juice, garlic powder, salt and pepper.

  2. If serving immediately, add cucumber and stir to coat; drizzle with olive oil. Otherwise, refrigerate until ready to serve, adding cucumber and drizzling with oil at the last minute.

Jenny’s Notes:

  • For optimal creaminess, I would use full fat greek yogurt. If you are vegan or dairy-free, use a thick/Greek dairy-free yogurt alternative!

  • In an ideal world the dressing would be made a day ahead of time and the cucumber added just before serving. This helps the flavors meld together and cuts the sharpness of the garlic a bit, without the cucumber sitting in the dressing for a day and losing its liquid. However, this makes a great last minute dish and it tastes just fine if eaten right away!

vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free, gluten-free, veggie dip, cucumber, garlic, fresh dill, Greek yogurt, Ranch substitute
Side dish, lunch, sauces and condiments
Greek
Yield: 2
Author:

Tzatziki Cucumber Salad

Creamy salad form of the classic Tzatziki sauce: Cucumbers, Greek yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, and fresh dill.
prep time: 10 Mcook time: total time: 10 M

ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup / 170g plain greek yogurt or vegan yogurt
  • generous 2 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • 2 tsp / 10g lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced, or 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 large cucumber, chopped with skin/seeds removed as desired
  • extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling, optional

instructions:

How to cook Tzatziki Cucumber Salad

  1. In a medium bowl combine yogurt, dill, lemon juice, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
  2. If serving immediately, add cucumber and stir to coat; drizzle with olive oil. Otherwise, refrigerate until ready to serve, adding cucumber and drizzling with oil at the last minute.

NOTES:

For optimal creaminess, I would use full fat greek yogurt. If you are vegan or dairy-free, use a thick/Greek dairy-free yogurt alternative! In an ideal world the dressing would be made a day ahead of time and the cucumber added just before serving. This helps the flavors meld together and cuts the sharpness of the garlic a bit, without the cucumber sitting in the dressing for a day and losing its liquid. However, this makes a great last minute dish and it tastes just fine if eaten right away!

Calories

123.72

Fat (grams)

7.21

Sat. Fat (grams)

1.05

Carbs (grams)

5.89

Fiber (grams)

0.61

Net carbs

5.28

Sugar (grams)

3.78

Protein (grams)

9.30

Sodium (milligrams)

181.86

Cholesterol (grams)

4.25
Nutritional information is approximate.
Created using The Recipes Generator
IMG_0856.jpg

Refrigerator Dill Pickles

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Summertime calls for watermelon, lemonade, ice cream, swimming, and cook outs.  And every quintessential cookout will have something to cook outside, usually meat and vegetables in some form.  (I know we're all thinking hamburgers, bratwursts, and hotdogs, but hey, there are some other weird traditions out there, too.)  And if you're cooking out, you're going to need buns and condiments.  And the best condiment award goes to....pickles!!

Not only does it have the best taste (opinion), but it stands alone.  As in, if you eat a pickle, no one will think twice.  But if we see you munching on a romaine lettuce leaf or slurping on a spoonful of ketchup, well, you might get some stares.  Of course, this is coming from someone who doesn't like hamburgers and once ate a romaine sandwich.  As in, onion, ketchup, mustard, and pickles sandwiched between to Romaine lettuce leaves.  Mmmmm.  Yeah, it was weird.  But I was so hungry, and hamburgers were the only option, I rather enjoyed it.  That's now on the worldwide webs.  Maybe I should change my heading to be: "Jenny, the girl who eats condiments like a main dish." Don't worry I won't, only you, my seven followers, are now privy to this information.  Haha.  

Back to pickles.  Now that we have remembered how great pickles are, did you know they are super easy to make at home?  Yes they are, and now you know that too.  Boil some water, throw some ingredients in a jar, chop up some cucumbers, stick them in the fridge, and voila!  Pickles.  

Recipe adapted from my mama


Refrigerator Dill Pickles

Makes about 24 servings

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 cups / 830g water

  • 1 1/4 cups / 296g white vinegar

  • 1 Tbsp / 12g sugar

  • 1 Tbsp / 17g salt

  • 1 tsp / 2g turmeric, optional

  • 4 cups or about 2-3 large cucumbers, cut into slices, spears, or shape of choice

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 2 heads fresh dill

  • 1 tsp red chili flakes, mustard seeds, or celery seeds, optional

Directions:

  1. Stir together water, vinegar, sugar, and salt in a large saucepan.  Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.  Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. 

  2. In a large glass jar or container, 4-quart or larger, arrange garlic, dill, cucumbers, and any spices you choose to use.  Pour the cooled liquid over the cucumbers, discarding or saving any leftover for another use.  Top with lid, sealing well, and refrigerate.  

  3. They will start to taste pickley the next day, but for optimum flavor refrigerate at least 3 days before consuming.  

Jenny's Notes:

  • I recommend making this recipe once as is to get an idea of the flavor profile, then play around to make it your own!

    1) If you like more bread & butter or sweet style pickles, up the sugar

    2) If you love dill, use more dill

    3) Add sliced onions or bell peppers

    4) Add more red pepper flakes or other hot pepper for more spice

    5) Really, add whatever suits your fancy. The garden is your playground.

  • The turmeric is for color, not so much flavor, to get that idyllic yellow pickle.  However, if you could care less about having a yellow pickle or don’t enjoy turmeric, leave it out!  I for one don't think the turmeric is very obvious in this recipe, but it's detectable if you really think about it.  

dill pickles, refrigerator pickles
American
Yield: 24
Author:

Refrigerator Dill Pickles

Classic dill pickles made in your refrigerator in just 3 days.
prep time: 15 Mcook time: 10 Mtotal time: 25 M

ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 cups / 830g water
  • 1 1/4 cups / 296g white vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp / 12g sugar
  • 1 Tbsp / 17g salt
  • 1 tsp / 2g turmeric, optional
  • 4 cups or about 2-3 large cucumbers, cut into slices, spears, or shape of choice
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 heads fresh dill

instructions:

How to cook Refrigerator Dill Pickles

  1. Stir together water, vinegar, sugar, and salt in a large saucepan. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
  2. In a large glass jar or container, 4-quart or larger, arrange garlic, dill, cucumbers, and any spices you choose to use. Pour the cooled liquid over the cucumbers, discarding or saving any leftover for another use. Top with lid, sealing well, and refrigerate.
  3. They will start to taste pickley the next day, but for optimum flavor refrigerate at least 3 days before consuming.

NOTES:

I recommend making this recipe once as is to get an idea of the flavor profile, then play around to make it your own! 1) If you like more bread & butter or sweet style pickles, up the sugar 2) If you love dill, use more dill 3) Add sliced onions or bell peppers 4) Add more red pepper flakes or other hot pepper for more spice 5) Really, add whatever suits your fancy. The garden is your playground. The turmeric is for color, not so much flavor, to get that idyllic yellow pickle. However, if you could care less about having a yellow pickle or don’t enjoy turmeric, leave it out! I for one don't think the turmeric is very obvious in this recipe, but it's detectable if you really think about it.

Calories

10.04

Fat (grams)

0.04

Sat. Fat (grams)

0.01

Carbs (grams)

1.91

Fiber (grams)

0.20

Net carbs

1.72

Sugar (grams)

1.09

Protein (grams)

0.25

Sodium (milligrams)

276.95

Cholesterol (grams)

0.00
Nutritional information is approximate.
Created using The Recipes Generator