Friday, September 27, 2013

What's good for Gilgamesh, Pliny the Elder and Charlamagne is good enough for me.

I'm a woman of a certain age, which I can clarify by saying, at this point in my life, the list of fruits and veggies I do *not* like is a lot shorter than the list of fruits and veggies I *do* like. 

When I was a younger lass, I really didn't like cucumber much. The texture is strange, I find it difficult to describe the flavor using words and they are rather watery. 

But as a slightly older lass now, I appreciate all that it brings to the table with it's delicate and subtle flavors and freshness. 

And yet, I still run out of ideas when it comes to the bounty that is the many cylindrical presents in my farm bag shares and gifts from the delightfully verdant gardens of my friends & colleagues. 

So there is Tzatziki

Tzatziki is super fun to say, super fun to type and scrumptious. I can totally eat it by itself but it's also a great dip for veggies, pita bread, basically anything dip goes with. In Greek cuisine, tzatziki is used as a sauce (like the sauce that comes with gyros) but I think it is awesome as a dip and that's how I normally put it to use. 

Tzatziki is also very easy to make because at its core, it consists of five ingredients: plain yogurt, cucumber, olive oil, dill and garlic. Whatever else you throw in in a matter of choice and trust me, you can throw a lot of things into it for enhancements. Here's my basic recipe and I'll add a list of possible accoutrements to make it extra special delicious. 
Heh heh - that says dill weed.
First, peel your cucumbers as you really just want the inside and not the skin in your tzatziki. 

Next, cut the cucumber length-wise and remove the seeds. I always, always, always forget this step for the first halve I begin to grate, so you'll notice a few seeds in the photo above. #Owel. 

Take the de-seeded and peeled cucumber halves and grate them. I use the larger holed side of my grater as I really do enjoy the shreds of cucumber, but I don't believe there's a rule is you want to have finer shreds. 

This part is kinda messy. Cucumbers are watery and nothing brings that out more than grating them. It's also a fairly dangerous endeavour, truth be told, because I end up hurting myself. Between the slipperiness of the veg, combined with the sharpness of the grater - well, you get the picture. #Owel.

After the cucumber is all shredded, squeeze out the extra liquid. This is really good if you are in a crappy mood or have some anger you need to work out, because you can't squeeze it too much. So go to town and squeeze the heck outta that cucumber!

Once you have the de-watered cucumber, start assembling your other ingredients if you haven't already. 

I started with a cup of my homemade plain yogurt as the base and threw in the cucumber. I ended up with more cucumber at the end but didn't really want to make more tzatziki, so I just kept it in the frig. And then, it went bad so I probably just should have made more tzatziki. #Owel. 
So after you have the yogurt and cucumber mixed up, I added at least 4 cloves of minced garlic and a decent wad of dried dill, and a dollop of yummy olive oil. 
There's a lot of tasting in these steps because it's a a balance so you just have to wing it and try it out. 
And that's it. Tzatziki. Just looking at that photo of all the yummy flavors all mixed up together makes my mouth water. I could make a meal out of tzatziki - you could add it to a baked potato (instead of sour cream), you could use it as a chip dip, sauce on fish, thin it out and could use it as a dressing on a kale salad. Seriously - it's basically a miracle food. 

Do you have a go-to recipe for cucumbers at this point in the season?

1 comment:

  1. I throw in lemon juice and sometimes leave the dill out. I think I'll experiement with sriracha next time for gits and shiggles.