For the last couple of weeks I have had a real craving for my homemade gyros on the grill. It is probably due to the reality that winter is on its way and my grill will soon be covered with snow, and that my friends is pretty sad. But the truth be told, I have just been too busy with work to even think about getting the grill going and cooking this delicious homemade gyro, and trust me, it is darn good. As I struggled with that reality, I did know that I could come up with some side dishes and make my own Greek dinner, of which assisted me in my cravings for that gyro.
One of my all-time favorite sauces is tzatziki sauce. Say that four times. If you have never had tzatziki sauce, it is a must try. Cool and clean flavors make this sauce a perfect side that goes especially well with pita bread, or leftover rotisserie chicken.
The sauce is so simple to make and only requires a few ingredients.
Lets get started.
- 12 oz plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, grated
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp vinegar
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
Begin by adding the yogurt to a small mixing bowl. A couple of important parts are that you want the garlic in the form of a paste if you can. I use a microplane grater to get a nice fine grate on the garlic. Add this to the the mixing bowl. Next, get your cucumber ready. Your goal here is to get as much moisture out of the cucumber as possible. There are a couple of ways to do this; one is to add the diced cucumber to a clean towel, completely cover it, and use your super human strength to squeeze out all of the moisture, or place it in the palm of your clean hand, and squeeze out as much water as you possibly can. Now, add to the mixing bowl. Add in the remaining ingredients, mix well, and place in a a small container with lid.
Place the mixture in the refrigerator overnight. Much like a good flavored piece of meat, I think the sauce is much better as it gives the yogurt enough time to get all of those delicious flavors.
Now you are ready to serve. As noted, the tzatziki sauce goes great with grilled lamb, however is also great with simple cut up vegetables and pita bread. Give it a shot, and let me know what you think. In the meantime, I will continue to think about gyros on the grill and prepare to hibernate in the coming weeks.
Mmm. That does sound utterly refreshing and light.
This stuff is really great for almost anything. I use it in
sandwich wraps with shaved chicken and fresh green pepperand it is
amazing! I also use it as a dip, to stuff cherry peppers or
tomatoes for a quick appetizer, or as a salad dressing. Two quick
pointers – regular yogurt can be used if it is drained. Place a
coffee filter in a strainer, add the yogurt, place over a bowl, and
let sit several hours until it is the consistency of soft cream
cheese. Another way to get the liquid from the cucumbers (if you
don’t possess brute strength) is to shred the cukes, toss with salt
and let them drain a few hours in a strainer as well. After they
are drained, rinse to remove the salt, and dry in a paper towel.
Don’t use salt in the recipe, until you taste it as a tiny bit of
residual salt may remain.
thanks for all the lovely middle eastern recipes! I bought a big bottle of harissa, now please tell me of some recipes that use lots of it?
Hi PMarie, you can use harissa in pretty much anything you want a little heat added to. Think soups, sandwiches, stews, pasta, heck even french fries!
You should add DILL! When i make it, that is an ingredient I cannot forget. You can also substitute dill for green onion or parsley, tzatziki always needs some kind of herb! But go for the dill 😉
Hi Lauren, I know I should have used dill, unfortunately I did not have any fresh dill on hand, so I went with simple cucumber and garlic. In the summer months I grow fresh herbs where I often use mint or dill. Thanks again.