Thursday, April 16, 2009

Yogurt dip/salad (Tzatziki)

Greek style yogurt, which is richer and creamier than regular plain yogurt, has been popular in US for the past few years. When I first tried to prepare this Greek dish a several years ago, the rich and creamy yogurt was not available in the US markets. So I had to drain regular plain yogurt overnight to make it like the Greek one. Thanks to many companies making and selling Greek style yogurt in local markets, I no longer wait overnight to prepare tzatziki! Health benefits of yogurt are numerous. It is well known that yogurt is an excellent source of calcium and protein. Also it is rich in vitamins A, B, D and E. Moreover, a recent study shows eating yogurt can enhance the immune system to prevent from hay fever and allergies! This dish can be served as an appetizer. Dipping pita bread in it is my favorite way of eating tzatziki. Also it goes well with grilled meat or seafood as a yogurt sauce.

500g Greek style yogurt (If you cannot find it, use regular plain yogurt which should be drained overnight.)
½ cucumber
½ cup chopped fresh dill
2-4 cloves of ground garlic
Salt to taste
¼ cup olive oil

1. Wash and finely chopped or roughly ground the cucumber. Squeeze and drain the water well.
2. Place the rest of the ingredients in a bowl and mix them well.
3. Refrigerate it for at least 15 to 30 minutes. Sprinkle additional olive oil. Serve with olives, pita bread or grilled food!

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