Tzatziki (cucumber-yogurt dip) and whole wheat pita bread

Multiple Greek food recipes in one week is my Christmas gift to you!

Tzatziki, if you’ve never had it, is a garlicky yogurt-cucumber dip that’s both surprisingly pungent and outrageously refreshing. It might sound strange, but it’s one of those things that just works. Do yourself a favor and don’t stop with pita bread – put it on chicken, salmon, beef, or roasted vegetables.

This whole wheat pita bread is a real treat. They puff up beautifully in the oven, and the dough will last in the fridge for a couple of days so your enjoyment of fresh-baked pitas doesn’t have to end abruptly. They’re awesome stuffed with sandwich meats or falafel, dipped in delicious tzatziki, or slathered with the best hummus ever.

I’ll be throwing another Greek-ish recipe at you later this week. For now, this tzatziki’s where it’s at.

On a different note, moving is done (hence my absence lately), and we’ve been trying our best to get settled in our new place. With that said, bear with me as I find my way through a new kitchen, restock my pantry, and try to find good lighting for photos in a home that sadly lacks natural light. 

Cucumbers are an underrated vegetable. You eat them brined in salt and vinegar as pickles. You put them on your eyes at the spa. But how often to you eat a refreshing cuke in its original form? Cucumbers are part of the same vegetable family as squash and melons, and while they aren’t packed with nutrients (it’s hard to be nutrient dense when you’re 95% water), they are sources of vitamins C and K, as well as several antioxidants.

Tzatziki
Makes about 2 cups

1 medium cucumber
1 cup Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

  1. Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise, and use a small spoon to scrape out the seeds. Finely dice the cucumber and measure out 1 cup to use in the tzatziki (use any remaining amount for snacking or falafel garnish).
  2. Fold the diced cucumber, yogurt, dill, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper together gently to avoid breaking down the yogurt.
  3. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving to allow the flavors to meld. Serve alongside pita bread.
 
Whole wheat pita bread
Serves 6
 
1-1 1/2 cups warm water, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
Pinch of sugar
3 cups whole wheat pastry flour (385 grams)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
  1. Measure 1/2 cup of water into a large bowl. Add the yeast and sugar and let sit for 10 minutes to activate.
  2. Add an additional 1/2 cup water to the bowl with the flour, salt, and olive oil. Use a spoon to begin combining the dough, then use your hands to finish bringing it together. You may need a little extra water to make a soft, pliable dough. Transfer to a floured board and knead for a few minutes.
  3. Place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover with a dish towel for 90 minutes or until the dough has puffed up.
  4. Preheat oven to 500F. Dust your work surface with flour. Tear off a small piece of dough and roll into a round about 1/4 inch thick. Transfer to an oiled sheet pan, cover with a towel, and let rest for 10 minutes before baking.
  5. Bake for 6-9 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. When you cut one in half, the inside should be hollow – they can be stuffed with falafel, vegetables, hummus, tzatziki, or anything else your heart desires.
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