Tzatziki me Maratho

Yogurt, Garlic, Cucumber and Fennel Dip

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes

    6 to 8

    servings (about 4 cups )

Appears in

IN THIS fresh-tasting dip, the cooling taste of yogurt complements the bite of the garlic. Enjoy it with carrot sticks and other raw vegetables or with chips or crackers, or serve it with fried vegetables, like Fried Sun-Dried Tomatoes. Brought to Greece by the Turks, tzatziki seems to have its roots in Persian cuisine. In its more common form, it is made with only cucumber, but this version includes shredded fennel.


  • 1 small cucumber, peeled, grated and drained
  • cup finely shredded fennel (1 small or ½ large bulb; fronds and tender stalks reserved, if desired)
  • 2–3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½–1 fresh chile pepper, seeded and minced, or plenty of freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups thick sheep’s milk yogurt or Drained Yogurt
  • ½ cup finely chopped fennel fronds plus tender stalks, or fresh dill
  • 1–2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Salt
  • 2–3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


Squeeze the grated cucumber, pressing it hard between your hands to extract most of its juices. In a medium bowl, mix the cucumber with the shredded fennel, garlic, chile or pepper and yogurt. Add the chopped fennel or dill (reserve 1 teaspoon for garnish), 1 tablespoon lemon juice and salt to taste and stir well to mix. Taste and add more lemon juice, salt and/or pepper, if needed. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes but no more than 3 hours before serving. (If the cucumber sits longer, it will release more liquid.) Transfer to a serving bowl, drizzle with some oil and sprinkle with the reserved fennel or dill.