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Prep time: 10 minutes
Makes: 2-1/2 cups tzatziki
Tzatziki (Greek) is also known as cacik (Turkish). It is a dip or sauce with a yogurt base and found in Southeastern Europe and the Middle East.
In Greece, classic Tzatziki is made with yogurt, chopped cucumbers, salt and garlic. It’s served as a cold appetizer (mezze) and usually accompanied by pita bread. People also enjoy tzatziki as a side dish or sauce on souvlaki (meat on a skewer) or gyros (sliced meat wrapped in pita bread).
A few weeks ago, in Athens, Greece, I was served beet tzatziki and I loved it. Here’s my version of it (it’s pretty authentic). This is an easy appetizer for Mothers’ Day!
Two medium whole beets (peeled, each wrapped in aluminum foil & baked in a 400°F oven for 40 minutes), cooled & cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1/2 cup Greek yogurt (whole or low-fat milk)
1 teaspoon salt
3 cloves garlic, peeled & crushed
Juice from 1 to 2 lemons
2 tablespoons tahini paste
1. In a glass blender (do not use a plastic blender or food processor or it will become permanently stained by beats), place cubed beets, yogurt, salt, garlic, juice from 1 lemon and tahini paste.
2. Pulse-blend a few times. You will need a spatula to scrape down sides and stir ingredients.
3. Repeat pulse-blending and scraping/stirring until the tzatziki dip is uniform.
4. Taste and adjust salt and lemon levels.
5. Transfer the beet tzatziki to a glass bowl, cover with plastic and refrigerate up to a day ahead.
6. Serve beet tzatziki with pita wedges as an appetizer (mezze). Alternatively, serve it as a side to grilled meat, chicken or fish or as part of a vegetarian/vegan meal.
Text & Photograph ©2023 Nancy DeLucia Real