Use as much garlic as you like: this recipe has only two cloves. You could also soak the garlic in olive oil and then just strain the oil into the dip if you are against too much garlic. This is wonderful with grilled lamb, souvlakia, souvla or sheftalia; and it does well on a mixed meze platter with little meatballs and pitta bread for dipping. It is very versatile and you could make other variations to suit whatever you’re serving. For grilled salmon or tuna you could add freshly chopped coriander (cilantro) or dill to the yoghurt.
Put the garlic, olive oil and lemon juice in a small bowl and leave on one side.
Peel the skin off the cucumber lengthways in alternate stripes — miss one, do one. Grate the cucumber coarsely and put it in a fine sieve in the sink. Sprinkle with the salt and leave for about half an hour to let the juices drip away. Squash it with your hands or a wooden spoon to extract the liquid (this will prevent your tzatziki being watery).
Put the yoghurt in a bowl and stir in the mint, crushing it between your fingers as you add it. Add the garlic oil mixture and cucumber and season with some black pepper. Mix through well, and taste for salt before serving.
If you aren’t serving it immediately, store in a covered container in the fridge, where the flavours will mature. It should keep for a couple of days.
© 2004 All rights reserved. Published by Murdoch Books.