Posted on November 12, 2005



Barefoot Contessa Parties! – Ina Garten
This appetizer is easy to assemble, although it takes a bit of planning. But oh! is it worth the wait. As part of a light summer meal it is a cool and satisfying salad; it’s also terrific with pita as a dip. It can be prepared days ahead of time.
Ina Garten

 4 cups plain yogurt, whole milk or low fat, NOT no fat
2 hothouse cucumbers, unpeeled and seeded
2 Tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup sour cream
2 Tablespoons champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice NOT bottled juice
2 Tablespoons good olive oil
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
1 Tablespoon minced fresh dill
1/4 Teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Place the yogurt in a cheesecloth-lined sieve and set it over a bowl. Grate the cucumber and toss it with 2 tablespoons salt; place it in another sieve and set it over another bowl. Place both bowls in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 hours so the yogurt and cucumber can drain.

Transfer the thickened yogurt to a large bowl. Squeeze as much liquid from the cucumbers as you can and add the cucumbers to the yogurt. Mix in the sour cream, vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, dill 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper. You can serve it immediately, but I prefer to allow the tzatziki to sit in the refrigerator for a few hours for the flavors to blend.

Foot note
To serve, sprinkle fresh dill over the top.
If you have a yogurt cheese maker, you may use that (it is a cone that you put yogurt in and let it drain to form cheese. Ginny Clifford has one if you would like to borrow it.

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