Saturday, May 28, 2011

spicy greexican tzatziki

we are so lucky to have mint thriving in the backyard - it was here when we moved in and i have done nothing to it but pick it sometimes and yet it's thick and fragrant and seemingly neverending. i do a lot of things with it - for the kentucky derby we made juleps and i often smash some leaves and put them in sparking water for a little extra flavor. this is the first time this season that i have made tzatziki with it, though.
usually tzatziki is made with greek yogurt, garlic, cucumber, some olive oil, and sometimes mint and/or lemon. we have a lot of cilantro that i didn't want to waste, though, so i added that and also half of a jalapeño (which is what makes it rather greexican). i also added capers, because they are good and because they add a briny insouciance to everything they touch.

so you can do this any number of ways, but i started with about 3/4 cup of greek yogurt. i grated one medium garlic clove into it, using this kind of cheesy small-holed grater from ikea. honestly, it is kind of a poor quality grater, and i should have used the microplane for the garlic, but my laziness and disinterest in washing dishes won out.

i used the same grater to grate the cucumber (this was like 1/3 of one of those english/hothouse ones and i didn't peel it) and half of the jalapeño. you could definitely use more if you like - i was going for a not-crazy level of spiciness.

then i used the ol' kitchen scissors to cut the cilantro and mint into the rest of the stuff, added a little salt and pepper, and stirred it up.

that is it! so easy! all i had to wash were the scissors and the grater! i win.

it is good to make this ahead of time so that the flavors have a chance to get acquainted and meld together a bit. nothing too crazy - just an hour or so if possible. but it is good right away, too.
we are going to eat this on chicken sausages and garlicky mustard and turnip greens wrapped in pitas. there may be some feta involved, too. however, it would also be good on tacos or as a dip for crackers or vegetables, or on gyros, etc., if that is something you enjoy.


3/4 cup greek yogurt

1/3 of an english cucumber

1 small handful of cilantro

6 or 7 (or more) mint leaves

1 medium clove of garlic

1/2 of a jalapeño

up to 1 tablespoon capers (depending on your love of them)

salt and pepper to taste

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