Greektown is a fun, lively neighborhood located in the heart of Detroit. The sound of Greek music playing and the aroma of some of the best traditional Greek cuisine anywhere are all around. It’s what I like to imagine Greece is actually like. There is even a casino and high above is the People Mover, Detroit’s transit system. Baklava from Astoria Bakery is To Die For. Yes, the capital letters are necessary. It’s that good. I’m usually too full for dessert but that doesn’t stop me from getting some to take home, nestled in that little white box tied neatly with string. Flaming cheese served with an enthusiastic opa! and Tzatziki are also staples in Greektown and while Tzatziki is easy to make at home, flaming cheese, because of the potential for your igniting your kitchen or losing your eyebrows, is probably a dish best left to the professionals.
Like much of the country, we’re in a heat wave.
What are you doing to stay cool?
Ninety degree temps are definitely not fun for anyone and being outside even for a short time in this kind of weather leaves me completely drained. A gal still has to eat though and this Tzatziki with its fresh, light ingredients is a great option on these hot, heavy days of summer. Its lemony Greek yogurt base is even delicious for a light lunch with cut up vegetables or pita chips and when the temps allow you to go grillside, try topping this Greek Chicken or Rosemary Chicken Kabobs with Tzatziki ~ or even a baked potato!Last week was my youngest daughter’s birthday. Our family loves celebrating birthdays and and we’ve found home cooked meals with time spent together is the best way for us to do it. The birthday girl requested a Mexican theme for which I am eternally grateful because that meant the entire meal could be prepared in the comfort of my air conditioned kitchen. We started the afternoon with some of her favorite Mexican themed appetizers and followed up with a chicken and shredded beef taco bar with all toppings and finished the meal with lemon-blueberry cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. It was a lot of fun and as usual my 2 year old grandson kept us entertained in ways only a 2 year old can.
Tzatziki has a really simple list of ingredients and is easy to whip up.
- Hothouse or English cucumber
- olive oil
- fresh squeezed lemon juice
- champagne vinegar
- greek yogurt
- garlic powder
- salt and pepper
I’ve made Tzatziki many times and used to finely chop the cucumber but recently discovered using a box grater is much easier! Give it a try and let me know what you think.
Add the grated cucumber to a colander and gently press with your fingertips draining most of the liquid. Then transfer the cucumber to a bowl, along with the Greek yogurt, dill, olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar and garlic powder. Season with salt and pepper according to your taste, then cover and chill.
If you don’t have champagne vinegar, don’t make a special trip to the store. White vinegar works just fine.
What will you enjoy this easy, authentic Greek Tzatziki with?
- ½ of one Hothouse or English cucumber, peel left on
- 1/2 tablespoon of fresh dill, chopped (dry can be substituted)
- 1/2 – tablespoon of olive oil
- 2 – tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 – tablespoon of champagne vinegar (white vinegar is fine too)
- 1 ½ cups of plain Greek yogurt
- Light sprinkle of garlic powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Grate the cucumber into a colander.
- Gently press with your fingertips draining most of the liquid.
- Transfer the cucumber to a bowl and add the yogurt, dill, olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar and garlic powder. Season with salt and pepper according to your taste, then cover and chill.
- Enjoy with chopped vegetables and pita or over grilled chicken or a baked potato!