In this recipe series, we bring you recipes by Julia Toon, culinary motivator and author of the book ‘Good Eating: A Taste of Qatar’. New recipes every week, straight from Jules of the Kitchen.
If you are looking for a very healthy quick bite, something away from a commercially prepared treat, then I have just the recipe for you. Please try this delightful Cucumber Tzatziki.
There are many variations on how to make this wonderful, delicious tasting yoghurt based dip. My favourite recipe definitely has origins from Greece but however, having lived many years in the Middle East I have adapted my version to the market and the ingredients available. I suggest you do the same and either use labneh (Arabic version of a strained yoghurt cheese and often spelt as labnah, labne or labeneh) or the traditional firm Greek yoghurt. The secret to success is on how well you remove the excess moisture from the grated cucumbers, so I recommend you grate them separately, and squeeze hard by hand before adding to the bowl containing the other ingredients. A very versatile dip or sauce delicious with crudités, black and green olives, barbecued meats, breads and even the simple crisp dunker.
Preparation: 15 minutes
NO cook – just chill
1 x 500 g tub thick labneh – full fat
4 short Lebanese cucumbers – or 1 long telegraph cucumber
1 garlic – crushed
Small handful fresh mint – finely chopped
Freshly ground black pepper (optional)
Prepare the vegetables
Finely chop mint. Peel and coarsely grate cucumbers, hand squeezing out any excess liquid. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, blend all ingredients together using a spatula, and season to taste. Place in a serving bowl, cover and chill until required.
Top the tzatziki with additional chopped mint and a heavy glue of extra virgin olive oil. Take to the table with chunks of crusty bread and of course traditional black olives.
Jules Tip: For a real thick, creamy tzatziki use full fat labneh or thick Greek yoghurt, but if watching the ‘waistline’ then substitute with a low fat variety.
Contributed by: Julia Toon, Jules of the Kitchen
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