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Tzatziki: Cool, Cucumber Salsa of the Mediterranean

This refreshing Greek dip, a healthy appetizer served with pita, doubles as a sauce for grilled or roasted meats — especially lamb, whether from the grill, in a burger or on a sandwich.

Like many Mediterranean dishes, tzatziki is made from fresh ingredients and olive oil, with just salt and pepper for seasonings. Crisp vegetables, tangy lemon juice and garlic and cooling yogurt and herbs — this combination works magic with spicy dishes.

The recipe for tzatziki begins with Persian cucumbers, which you can find at many supermarkets. These small, tender yet crunchy cucumbers need no peeling or seeding and have a lightly sweet flavor. Despite their name, they were developed in Israel and now are grown in Holland, California and Mexico as well.

Persian cucumbers are worth seeking out: You can make tzatziki with traditional “English”
cucumbers, but it won’t be as good or as authentic.

Along with the right cucumbers, a green onion (scallion) is best for this dish. Yellow onions are too pungent and red onions will tint your tzatziki a pale pink. (There’s just something strange about pink tzatziki.)

Get the recipe: »» Tzatziki