Cucumber Yogurt Dip (Tzatziki)

Christopher Hirsheimer

Greeks use this condiment, known as tzatziki, on just about everything. If you are lucky enough to find the authentic prepared stuff, go ahead and buy it. Either way, you will have a seriously flavorful and healthy sauce. This recipe yields far more than you’ll need to make any one dish, which is the point. It’s a dip for vegetables and pita, a flavor-packed sauce for sushi (yes, it’s easier to make than you think—and it doesn’t have to be perfectly executed to taste amazing), yet another replacement for mayonnaise in chicken, tuna, crab, or egg salad sandwiches (or any sandwich that calls for mayonnaise), and a condiment for grilled meat, poultry, and fish.


  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 4 cups Greek yogurt
  • 1 large English cucumber, ends trimmed, peeled, and halved lengthwise, seeds discarded and flesh cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 3 tablespoons loosely packed chopped fresh dill
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper


Combine garlic and vinegar in a blender and puree until smooth. Combine the yogurt and garlicky vinegar in a bowl. Using a whisk, gently work the liquid into the yogurt until it is fully incorporated.
Fold in the cucumbers, dill, salt, and pepper. Transfer to a container with a tight-fitting lid.  The dip will keep for up to 1 week in the refrigerator.

NOTE: Be sure to remove all of the seeds from the cucumber; they release water, which will make the dip too loose. If raw garlic is too assertive for you, use the tamer, sweeter Garlic Confit.
I love the almost obnoxiously acidic flavor of white vinegar here, but you can tone it down by using white wine vinegar instead

Excerpted from the book Live to Eat by Michael Psilakis. Copyright © 2017 by Michael Psilakis. Reprinted with permission of Little, Brown and Company.

Makes 5 1/2 cups
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