I never heard the gospel of tzatziki until I met the boy. My meat and potatoes upbringing, while delicious and wholesome, left me unaware of a wealth of other culture’s fabulous foods. I started broadening my taste horizons in college, but never dove into the Mediterranean side of the spectrum until I stumbled across a handsome barista working behind the bar of the same coffee shop I baked for, fresh off the boat from a six-week mission trip to Greece.
He adored his time there and now insists on trying every gyro available in the Greater Austin area to gauge its authenticity, always ordering extra tzatziki. While I’m still taking my time getting on the lamb train (the texture skeeves me out from time to time), I can definitely get on board with a fluffy flatbread wrapped around fresh and succulent ingredients, doused in said sauce.
So we made it at home. It’s remarkably simple to make, and is full of bright and flavorful ingredients: thick Greek yogurt, fresh cucumber, garlic, dill, and a vibrant squeeze of lemon juice. I’ve played with recipes that have you finely chop the cucumber before mixing it in, but because I genuinely don’t like the taste of it and wanted as little as possible for solely the essence of it, I grated it instead, straining the juices out in a cheese cloth. What’s left is almost like a cucumber paste – adding texture and the right amount of flavor without the overwhelming aroma.
Although the tzatziki is delicious, I think my favorite discovery from this adventure was the quick and easy herb-roasted flatbread. We bought a large package of freshly baked flatbread recently and have been using it in everything – sandwiches, breakfast flatbreads, quick carb indulgences, and now this. I brushed two pieces with quality olive oil and then sprinkled them with salt and pepper and a fragrant array of rosemary, thyme, and oregano. Roast those beauties on high heat for just a few minutes, and then reward yourself with the tastes and smells of deliciousness.
I cut my crispy-yet-soft-and-savory flatbreads into wedges and layered them next to their new best friend, tzatziki, on my gawgeous cutting board trivet and matching bowl from Ode to Wood. They’re beautiful, functional, and are fueling my need for foods that require dipping.
We used our tzatziki for dipping veggies, spreading on sandwiches, and drizzling over salads. Maybe one day I’ll hit a wave of bravery and try to make something resembling a gyro with it, or I could keep ordering out from the Greeks who actually know what they’re doing.
- For the tzatziki:
- 2 cups full fat Greek yogurt
- ½ English cucumber
- 2-3 cloves garlic (dependent on how garlicky you'd like your sauce)
- 2 tablespoons dried dill
- Juice of ½ lemon
- For the flatbread:
- 2 pieces of flatbread
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Assortment of dried rosemary, oregano, and thyme
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Take the one half of the cucumber and shred on a cheese grater. Place the shredded cucumber in a cheese cloth or thin dish towel, and strain the juice out of it.
- Place all of the ingredients for the tzatziki, including the pressed cucumber, into a food processor. Process until smooth. Taste to see if you need to add any salt or pepper.
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Brush the flatbread with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with your desired amount of dried rosemary, thyme, and oregano.
- Bake the flatbread on the top rack for about 5 minutes, or until the tops become golden and crisp. Let cool slightly and cut into wedges. Serve alongside the tzatziki.