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My Big Fat Greek Mother’s Day Party: Tzatziki
May 9th, 2011 by

Mothers, daughters, cousins, and nieces all celebrated Greek food in the RootsLiving kitchen.

Mothers, daughters, cousins, and nieces all celebrated Greek food in the RootsLiving kitchen.

After an amazing trip to Greece last month, Trish asked for a “Big Fat Greek Mother’s Day” party for herself and her cousins and our niece, Jenno. So I whipped out the Greek cookbook I bought and with a little extra help from Julia Child came up with this menu.

Appetizers:

  • Tzatziki
  • Spanakopita
  • Stuffed Grape Leaves

Main Course:

  • Country (Greek) Salad
  • Moussaka (non-traditional, a Julia Child recipe)

Dessert:

I made everything myself, except for the Spanakopita (spinach and cheese fillo appetizers) and (rice) stuffed grape leaves, which I bought at Christo’s Market in Arlington. Here is the recipe for the tzatziki (I’ll add more as the week goes on):

This Greek dip is healthier and less fattening than sour cream based dips, but tastes just as good, if not better.

This Greek dip is healthier and less fattening than sour cream based dips, but tastes just as good, if not better.

Tzatziki

This is a very addictive yogurt and cucumber dip and is served everywhere in Greece, including on Gyros you buy from street vendors. We like it as a dip for lightly toasted pita chips.

Ingredients:

  • Greek yogurt (16 oz.). It’s better with the whole fat Greek yogurt, but I’ve used the low-fat and non-fat Greek yogurts and it’s been great too. It just depends on whether you want to save a few calories or not. Whatever you choose, it’s less fattening and more healthy than any sour cream dip: and much tastier.
  • Cucumber (1 large)
  • Garlic cloves (3 cloves. The recipe I have calls for 5, but I found it too strong. And I love garlic.)
  • Dill (A small bunch. About 1-2 tbsp.)
  • Olive oil (1/8 to 1/4 cup. The recipe I have calls for a 1/2 cup, but I found less is best.)
  • Salt, pepper (to taste)
  • Lightly toasted pita chips

What I did:

Put salt, garlic, and dill in a food processor and mince fine.

Wash the cucumber and peel strips lengthwise so the cucumber looks like is has stripes. Then grate it and dump it into a colander to drain. You can press down on the small pieces to get more moisture out.

If the yogurt isn’t already strained, then dump it into a colander too to allow excess moisture to drain out.

Put yogurt, cucumber, garlic mixture, olive oil, salt and pepper into a bowl and mix thoroughly.

Cover and store in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Several hours or overnight is even better.

Serve with lightly toasted pita chips. (Simply cut pita bread into triangles. Brush on olive oil and salt and bake in a 400 degree oven on a cookie sheet until lightly toasted.)

Find more recipes in the Food section.

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