Tzatziki (and Tzatzik-ish) Sauce

Technically, tzatziki is yogurt-based, and plain yogurt (Greek or otherwise) just isn’t something I keep in my fridge. So if you sub out the yogurt (like me), you’re not making “tzatziki”, but if you (also like me) are more interested in the flavor than the moniker, the alternative ingredients make for a very tasty “tzatzik-ish” sauce.

One additional note on the cucumbers. Some recipes say chunked, some say grated with the large holes, some with the small, etc. I like it finely grated so the sauce is less chunky, but feel free to prep your cucumbers however you like. Same applies to how you handle the excess cucumber liquid (if you grate). I like the sauce a little thicker, so I try to squeeze a good bit out after grating, but if you want a thinner sauce, feel free to, well, not. You might need to adjust the salt if you opt not to squeeze. (I really want to make a Hamlet joke here, but I’ll restrain myself.)

  • 1 cup yogurt (or 1/2 cup sour cream and 1/2 cup mayonnaise)
  • 1 medium to large cucumber, prepared (see above)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (or semi-sweet vinegar; I used mirin rice vinegar because I also don’t keep lemon juice handy)
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil (I left this out because mayo’s foundation is eggs and oil)
  • 1 clove of garlic (minced, grated, pressed, mashed… same rules as the cucumber)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon dill
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon mint
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon parsley

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients well. Refrigerate overnight.

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