Originating from the Ottoman Empire, this is my version of the popular Greek dish, tzatziki (known as cacık in Turkey). It’s simply a bowl of great quality Greek yoghurt getting it on with little cubes of crunchy cucumber, lots of finely chopped garlic, briny sea salt, a glug of grassy Kalamata olive oil, a generous squeeze of lemon juice, lashings of fresh dill, dried mint and, on this occasion, chopped pistachios to add another layer of texture. It’s the perfect bowl for hot days and is just wonderful on its own with freshly baked flatbread but, for last night’s supper I served it alongside Greek saganaki (salty kefalotyri cheese shallow fried in olive oil and drizzled with orange blossom honey and nigella seeds, a dreamy combination), a quick dill-infused gigantes plaki and a super lemony hummus (for an extra lemony kick, try adding the zest of one of the lemons before serving).
500g of good quality Greek yoghurt
Half a cucumber, de-seeded and cut into small cubes
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp of dried mint
30g of fresh dill, finely chopped (retain 10g for garnishing)
Juice of half a lemon
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to your taste
Chopped pistachios, for garnishing (optional)
Pul biber, for garnishing (optional)
How I make it
Place the yoghurt in a bowl and stir through all the other remaining ingredients. Season to your taste, chill and turn out into a pretty bowl. Garnish with the remaining chopped dill, the pistachios and pul biber (if using).