I love cooking. Its something I have enjoyed since I was a child and my mom let me cook by myself (oven and all) from the age of 5. Don’t judge – it was the 80s and the rules were definitely different. For the record, I never caught myself or the house on fire.
My husband and I go to the farmer’s market in our town every Saturday. Its something that we look forward to and I really enjoy knowing the men and women who grow my food. This time of year the bounty is amazing.
This weekend a friend gave me a ton of cucumbers because her garden was banging them out left and right. I had purchased beautiful garlic with all its imperfect colors that morning and decided to make one of my favorite things: Tzatziki – cucumber and yogurt sauce for those not initiated to its brilliance. Armenians love their plain yogurt and it is one of my cultures most important condiments.
Make if for yourself and put it on everything or simply eat it with a spoon.
2 cucumbers: peeled, seeded, dried and chopped (personally I like it chunky but you can make it super fine if you prefer)
2 bulbs garlic: roasted
1 clove garlic: chopped fine
1 large container plain Greek yogurt (a little fat is good)
1 lemon: juiced
Seems funny but the cucumbers need to be as dry as possible. Otherwise the sauce will be delicious and watery. First, peel the cucumbers, then slice them length wise and scrape out the seeds with a spoon. Lightly salt them front and back and place them on towels (this will help draw the water out) cover them with a towel to absorb from both the top and the bottom. Let them rest this way for a long while (several hours). Chop them as fine as possible then place them in clean towel and ring as much moisture as you can out of them.
Trust me – these steps are worth the effort.
Roast the garlic:
Chop off the top of the bulb to reveal the cloves. Cover with oil. Make a packet out of tinfoil and place in the oven at 425 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes depending on the size of the bulb. The garlic will be soft to the touch when done.
Put it together:
Place the Greek Yogurt in a bowl (if you use regular plain yogurt you have to strain it – otherwise, watery). Once the roasted garlic is cool to the touch grasp it by its root and squeeze all its goodness out. Add the chopped garlic, lemon juice, and cucumbers. Stir it together and voila!
Put it back in the yogurt container for storage. It is good the first day but like many things the flavor melds and develops with time. Usually I make it the day before I want to use it.