Friday, July 3, 2009

Tzatziki with Marinated Souvlaki

When I got the email from our farmer this week telling us what to expect at our pick up, I was a bit disappointed. For the first time, something I really don't like was on the list: cucumbers. I know I'm not the only one who doesn't like them but unfortunately, I also hate pickles. I considered giving them to my neighbor but thought I should at least try to find something to do with them first.

After googling a bit, I came across a recipe for tzatziki, a Greek yogurt and cucumber dip. Duh!! I'm Greek and I can't believe I didn't think of it on my own. Well, this got me all excited, mouth-watering and the menu started coming together in my mind. I had some steak tips in the freezer - I can make steak gyros! Got some tomatoes in my CSA pick up so I can throw those in gyro. And since I'll be grilling the steak tips (aka souvlaki), I may as well grill the garlic scapes I got this week. And no good meal is complete without a side salad, so I could make use of all the lettuce and strawberries I got, too. Yum! All this inspired by the lowly cucumber - this is one of the things I love about eating locally. Seasonal inspiration!

Here is the recipe for the tzatziki, and yogurt marinade:

Tzatziki (from The Joy of Cooking)

1 cup yogurt (I used non-fat Greek yogurt)
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and finely chopped
1 tbsp dill, finely chopped
1 tbsp mint, finely chopped (I didn't have any so I doubled up on the dill)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 clove minced garlic
1/2 tsp salt

Blend all ingredients together - I used a simple blender. Leave in fridge over night to let flavors settle. Serve cold.

Cilantro Cumin Yogurt Marinade (from here) - with some of my changes

1/2 medium onion, grated
1 cup Greek yogurt
2 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Mix all ingredients together in a large Tupperware. Add meat (in our case, 1.5lbs of steak tips), coat well, and cover. Leave in fridge overnight. Grill and serve hot.

Souvlaki with grilled garlic scapes

CSA lettuce and strawberries with Asian Sesame dressing

And here was our final product: Beef gyros with tzatziki and tomatoes

This was a perfect lunch for dining alfresco - finally we can enjoy some nice summer weather here in New England!



  1. Okay, I'm soooooo jealous that you're getting cukes already! You can send your share my way :). I'm loving the fact that you posted this Tzatziki recipe. I'll be making that for sure along with your marinade recipe. It all looks so luscious!

  2. That looks really delicious, though I'm not a fan of tzatziki sauce. I love Greek food, though, just hold the cukes! :)

    I don't think I've ever met another vehement cucumber hater, so I'm glad you're here. Most people look at me like I'm crazy and say something like "but cucumbers don't really taste like anything!"

  3. That meal looks really healthy I love gyros. If you would like to see the collection of tips and recipes I have for grilling you can visit