It was a rainy and unusually humid day in Los Angeles today. Luckily I purchased these peonies two days ago, and they are just now starting to open up and brighten up the kitchen despite the clouds outside.
While I gazed at the pretty peonies, I decided it was time to make one of my favorite summer dishes: tzatziki, a greek dressing or dip, that I usually eat with pita chips. When I do not have time to make it on my own, I purchase a container from Trader Joe’s. But I like my homemade version the best. The dip is pretty easy to make as I don’t even have a recipe to follow but just mix a few simple fresh ingredients together.
First, I put a coffee filter over a strainer and a bowl, and then spoon some Greek yogurt into the filter. I let it sit at least a half hour so that the excess water is extracted. When I first read about making tzatziki, some recipes called for using a cheese cloth during this step, but I found that the coffee filter works pretty well too.
While the yogurt is sitting, I prepare the other ingredients: lemon juice, dill and garlic.
I chopped a tablespoon or two of dill, minced three to four cloves of garlic, and squeezed the juice out of a half lemon into a bowl. Then I added the yogurt (it becomes even thicker once the water drains), mixed it all together and added salt and pepper to taste. Sometimes I add olive oil too.
I chill the dip in the refrigerator for at least an hour to allow all the flavors to blend together. Just before serving, I chopped up a Persian cucumber to give the dip a crunchy texture.
Since I’m in a gin phase, I decided to quickly make some gin and tonics (using my new favorite tonic Fever Tree) and serve them with the dip for a pre-dinner snack.