This year we ventured further afield for our summer holiday, our destination – Kefalonia, Greece. I can honestly say it was one of the best holidays we have had; the weather was hot and sunny every day, the locals very friendly and hospitable, the scenery was magnificent, the sandy beaches were spotlessly clean and the azure blue sea was so clear you could see the amazing sea life and the abundant brightly coloured fish (that would quite happily eat bread out of your hand).
Our last holiday to Greece was over 10 years ago and we were really looking forward to the Greek Cuisine, we weren’t disappointed, the first thing that we had was Tzatziki which is a traditional greek appetiser usually eaten before the main meal, its main ingredients are Greek Yoghurt, Cucumber and Garlic, it was delicious and so much nicer than the shop bought version available in the UK, so when we got home I thought I would try and make my own using cucumbers, garlic and herbs from my garden.
Home made Tzatziki
- 170g Greek Yoghurt
- ½ large cucumber or 1 small cucumber
- 1 garlic clove crushed
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 tsp Lemon Juice (freshly squeezed if possible)
- ½ tsp salt
- Ground Black Pepper to taste
- Optional: Finely chopped Mint or Dill
- Peel and cut your cucumber in half and remove the seeds, grate the cucumber flesh and place it into a sieve or colander over a bowl, mix in the salt and leave to stand for approximately one hour. Cucumbers contain a lot of water most of which needs to be extracted before you add your cucumber to the yoghurt, if not you will have a thin and watery Tzatziki.
- Whist your grated cucumber is standing, mix into your yoghurt the olive oil, lemon juice and the crushed garlic clove to allow the flavours to infuse, be cautious when adding your garlic, raw garlic especially crushed is very strong and pungent – the smaller you cut garlic the stronger the flavour is, it may be an idea to add ½ clove at first.
- After an hour press down lightly on your grated cucumber to remove any remaining water and then stir into your yoghurt mixture.
- Add your herbs if required, in Greece some Tzatzikis contained finely chopped dill or mint or were served without either.
- Season with Ground Black Pepper
- Serve in a shallow dish or on a small plate, garnish with mint/dill or an olive and drizzle with olive oil.
- Eat with crusty bread or pitta bread.
I have made it twice since our return, the first time I used a whole garlic clove which I found quite strong, homemade is definitely worth making and so much better than our supermarket versions but regrettably it’s just not quite as good as the Greeks, I will have to start saving up for next year!
Now that I am back there are lots of jobs to catch up on in the garden and on the allotment click here for suggestions of what to do in your garden in September.