Back in the summer of 2002, I was 18 years old and dating this really hot muscular guy. I planned a special picnic for us by the beach and thought I would re-create our favorite pitas from this pita joint in the city. The pitas would not be complete without tzaziki, so I made sure to find a recipe and try making it myself. The recipe told me to grate the cucumber and then wring it out, but I was a naive teenager and figured "what a waste of time, I can skip that." Yeah no. My tzaziki sauce turned to soup! Apparently a cucumber is 95% water and once added to the yogurt there was no salvaging it. I panicked and kept trying to stir more yogurt into it to thicken it up but there was no use. We tried pouring it onto our pitas anyway, but it soggified them so much they turned to mush.
I never again tried to make tzaziki. I figured it was WAY too hard, WAY too easy to screw up. Then I came across this recipe and gave it another shot. As long as you wring out your cucumber in a kitchen towel, there's no way you can screw this up. Super easy.
Recipe from Everyday with Rachael Ray
1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
1/2 cup grated cucumber
1 clove garlic grated
1 tsp dried dill (or about 1 tbsp of fresh dill)
Salt and pepper
Dump the yogurt in a medium sized bowl. Grate the cucumber and place in a clean kitchen towel. Wring out over the sink, then place dry cucumber into the bowl with the yogurt (this step is important, since it ensures that your sauce won't get runny). Add garlic, dill and salt and pepper to taste. Place in the fridge to let the flavors meld until you are ready to eat.
Click here for printable version of Tzaziki
I could not get over how easy this is to make! After all those years of steering clear of homemade tzaziki and buying the expensive tubs in the deli, I learned my lesson: sometimes you just need to follow directions!