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9.16.2003

In honor of the Greek-related content below, here's a recipe for tzaziki, the classic Greek dip/sauce:

Ingredients:
1 cucumber
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups plain yogurt
1 tablespoon olive oil
juice of one lemon
1 teaspoon dill

Directions:

Peel the cucumber and remove each end, as that part of the cuke tends to be bitter. Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise and de-seed with a spoon. Throw the seeds away. Using a grater, shred the cucumber halves. Drain the shredded cuke-bits using a cheesecloth and a bowl. Cucumber is mostly water and you don't want it all in the dip. This is the most time consuming part of the process so it pays to do it in advance of the rest of the work.

Once the cuke-bits are drained, toss them into a bowl. Add to them the remaining ingredients: the minced garlic, the yogurt, the lemon juice, the dill, and around 1 tablespoon of olive oil (maybe a little more), mix well and presto! you've got tzaziki. Easy, huh? Delicious and low-fat. Of course low- or non-fat yogurt can be used.

Tzaziki is a dish which improves with age. You'll get a more balanced flavor if you make it and leave the ingredients to meld overnight. Even if you don't let it sit, though, it's still an excellent dip with bread or crackers. Tzaziki can also be used as a relish on sandwiches. I also love to use it liberally on felafel or as a marinade, usually for chicken.
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