This. is. the jam! Well, sauce. Technically it’s a sauce. Quite frankly, I think it should be the new ketchup. Sorry ketchup, I’m seeing other condiments. Tzatziki Sauce is perfect over this Yogurt Marinated Chicken. It’s also awesome served on a platter as a dip with fresh vegetables and fruit; sliced cucumbers, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, pita triangles. If making the grilled chicken kebabs, go ahead and add pita sliced in half, kalamata olives, sliced red onion, loose romaine hearts, pepperoncini peppers and even diced feta.
I tell my guests they can make a plate with whatever they like, a salad or sandwich. People go wild for variety! Try it over baked potatoes, too.
I do a couple of things differently to make it my own: 1.) Adding peel of the ridiculously easy to make preserved lemons for their pungent brightness. 2.) Using Persian cucumbers instead of the more commonly used English (hot house) because they tend to have less liquid, seeds, and are wonderfully fresh and crisp. However, traditional Tzatziki is delicious as is. This just kicks it up a bit.
1 1/2 cups Greek whole milk yogurt (I swear by Cabot 10% Greek yogurt; It’s very thick and creamy. No need to strain)
1 English cucumber, or 3-4 small Persian cucumbers peeled, cut in half, seeded, finely grated (I prefer to use only the latter because they contain less water)
2 cloves garlic, smashed, pref. with mortar and pestle
1 teaspoon lemon zest plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (I use preserved lemon rind and the juice in addition to fresh for big boost of flavor)
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste. You might not need salt.
Peel cucumber. Cut in half and remove seeds. Grate cucumber using box grater. Add grated cucumber to strainer or colander and place over bowl. Sprinkle cucumber with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and toss throughout. After about 30 minutes (or up to several hours), use hands to squeeze excess water from cucumber.
In medium bowl add all ingredients and whisk together. Allow to sit in refrigerator for at least two hours before using. Drizzle with additional olive oil before serving.
Goes great with Yogurt Marinated Chicken