Monday, June 21, 2010


My first attempt at Tzatziki and Baba Ganoush (post to follow) were inspired when I decided I'm bored with Philadelphia as a dip base, especially in summer. Apart from being really high in fat, it really doesn't go with the typical Mediterranean diet. Don't get me wrong, I love my sweet chilli and blue cheese dips, but I find them more of a wintery thing....

Found these recipes in Rick Stein's "Meditteranean Escapes" book. I absolutely love him, his shows are an inspiration and he's truly a chef after my own heart, one who is less about being a pompous arse, and more about being a true lover of food. I slightly adapted them (i omitted spring onions from the Tzatziki for example).

Tzatziki - traditionally from Corfu

nom nom!  i love how fresh this looks and tastes.

This is great to serve alongside some freshly bbq'd chicken or lamb and pita :)

  • 1 cucumber, partially peeled (I also deseeded it) and roughly grated
  • 2/3 garlic cloves
  • 500g Greek full fat yoghurt (ideally sheep's, but i only found cow's)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill (use mint if unavailable)
  • ~2 tablespoons good extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • Extra dill/mint to garnish
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Lightly toasted pitta bread and/or water crackers (galletti in Malta) to serve.

Grab handfuls of the cucumber and squeeze as much liquid out as possible, then set aside on some kitchen towel/a clean tea towel to absorb some more of the liquid.

Put the garlic cloves onto a chopping board, sprinkle with a large pinch of salt and crush into a smooth paste with the flat blade of a large knife.

Tip the yoghurt in a bowl, add cucumber, garlic, dill, olive oil, vinegar and pepper. Stir well, then add salt to taste (it might not need it due to the salt added when crushing garlic).

Serve with pitta bread/crackers.

N.B. this dip is one of the only dips that's better to serve immediately. If not serving immediately give it a good stir before serving as some liquid will gather on the top.

Baba Ganoush in following post.

**NOTE** if you use any yoghurt other than full fat greek, this is not a low carb dish!!  Of course, the Pitta is not low carb, but I find that this is excellent as an accompaniment to grilled meats and fish!

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