If I had to name my favorite cuisine, it might be Greek. Really. It would even possibly edge out Mexican, which is saying a lot. I love the bright flavors, fresh ingredients and overwhelming sense of family I get when I dip into a bite — but maybe that’s my love of My Big Fat Greek Wedding talking (the dad in that movie is classic). The craving for Greek food hit me when I realized it was Xristos Anesti last weekend (a holiday I always remember thanks to my favorite Greek and college roommate Alexandra Sarris) coupled with the warm weather.
I mentioned it in a post earlier this week, but we dipped into said Greek fare last Friday. It was the first time I tried my hand at tzatziki, but it’s always the first thing I order when we go down the street to Mazi. I found a recipe in one of my very favorite wedding presents: Two in the Kitchen cookbook from Williams-Sonoma.* It was so easy that I almost got mad I haven’t been making it all these years, but it was too good to be upset. Side note: the recipe made quite a bit more than the two of us could handle on our own, or that we felt friends at a party would eat. I’ve halved the recipe here for you to enjoy — perfect for summer nights with crudites or small crackers.
Summer Snacks: Perfect Tzatziki for Two
- 1/2 cucumber, halved and seeded
- 1/2 lemon
- 250 g Greek yogurt (1 cup)
- 1 Tbsp minced fresh dill
- 1 Tbsp minced fresh mint
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Using a box grater, coarsely shred the cucumber into a fine-mesh sieve. Let the water from the cucumber drain for about 10 minutes in the sink. Squeeze the cucumber to remove any remaining moisture. Halve a lemon, and grate one half into a bowl. Then squeeze the juice of the lemon into the bowl. Stir in the shredded cucumber, yogurt, dill and mint. Season with sea salt and pepper. Refrigerate for later, or as I did, serve immediately.
*The cookbook is from my cousin Ben and his wife Kelsey, and is inscribed with a wonderful quote shared with the wisdom of several beautiful years of marriage behind them: “Cooking is like love: it should be entered into with abandon or not at all.”