Braden Family Cookbook

Chuck Braden

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TZATZIKI  (CUCUMBER AND YOGURT DIP)              Greek Traditional

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon finely minced garlic (2 medium cloves)
2 cups Greek yogurt (or fresh, un-flavored non-fat, or regular yogurt for a fuller flavor) place the yogurt in cheesecloth and then in a colander and let the whey drain out for an hour or two
1 medium cucumber, seeded, peeled and small diced or grated
2 tsp. finely chopped fresh mint
1 tsp. fresh oregano, minced
1 tsp. minced fresh dill
Salt & Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Whisk the olive oil, cucumber, vinegar (Aha!, you're not paying attention...there is no vinegar in this recipe), garlic and yogurt together.  Fold the mixture  and herbs together.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Cover and refrigerate until chilled. If you want it a little thinner, add in a little more olive oil after taking it out of the refer.  Serve with black olives (not from the can....from the Deli case!) and slices of fried bread, or wedges of warmed/grilled pita bread.

Yield: about 2 cups

note:    Traditionally the yogurt is placed in cheesecloth in a colander and then drained for 2 -3 hours.  Will keep covered in refer 2-4 days, then toss!

note:    Make this sauce with 1 cup of the yogurt (no draining needed) straight      from the container  as  a sauce for Gyros sandwiches!   

note:    If you have never  tasted this sauce nor experienced a real Gyros you must either fly to Greece immediately or plan to be in Honolulu for the annual Greek Festival which takes place around the 3rd weekend in August at the McCoy Pavilion in Ala Moana Park.