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 authentic Greek yoghurt getting it on with little cubes of crunchy cucumber, lots of finely chopped garlic, briny sea salt, a generous glug of grassy Kalamata olive oil, an audacious squeeze of lemon juice and lashings of fresh dill and dried mint. It’s the perfect bowl for hot days and is just wonderful on its own with freshly baked pillowy flatbread but, for last night’s supper, I stirred it into warm potatoes with slithers of lightly pickled Tropea onions and served it with the remains of a Greek onion, feta and ricotta filo pie with dill, mint and lemon, known as Kremidopita and a simple bulgur wheat and roasted mixed pepper salad.
500g good quality Greek yoghurt
Half a cucumber, peeled, de-seeded and cut into small cubes
2 garlic cloves, grated
1 tsp of dried mint
1 tsp of dried dill
Juice of half a lemon
A generous glug of Raphael’s Cretan extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to your taste
Toasted pistachio nuts, chopped, to serve
Pul biber, to serve
How I make it
Place the yoghurt in a bowl and stir through all the other remaining ingredients. Season to your taste and chill. When you’re ready to eat, turn out into a pretty bowl, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with the chopped pistachios and pul biber.
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