Hello! *waves madly*
It’s school holidays at the moment which means a reasonable amount of time spent at home. However, I’m not going mad (just waving at you madly!). Thankfully, both of my kids are at ages where they can amuse themselves or take the initiative to find friends to invite over to amuse them. The latter is surprisingly my preferred option as curiously enough, the more children in the house, the less noise I seem to hear. Peaceand quiet in order to work, cook and write!
And I did use the peace and quiet wisely last week; making a dish that I had been wanting to make for some time. There are two parts to this recipe so I’ll start with the easy part: Zucchini & Rosemary Tzatziki. I’m sure most people are familiar with this yoghurt based dip that hails from Greece. Tzatziki is often served with lamb dishes as the acidity of the yoghurt and refreshing taste of cucumber cuts through the fatty meat. As much as love me some lamb, it can be quite cloying both with it’s strong flavour and fattiness.
For my tzatziki, I decided to use zucchini instead of cucumber. I can’t take the credit for this substitution (and sadly I can’t remember where I saw the suggestion online) but it’s genius! Cucumber can make the dip quite watery whereas zucchini lends the same flavour but adds less moisture overall. Dill is the usual herb used for tzatzki but I decided to use rosemary for a more wintery touch.
Firstly, I made up some rosemary and citrus peel salt in the Thermomix (say two tablespoons of rock salt with a small twig of rosemary and a couple of good pieces of peel – like lemon or cumquat). It’s not necessary to use seasoned salt but it’s certainly all the rage and does make a dish more fragrant :) If you can’t make seasoned salt, then just plain salt is more than fine.
For the tzatziki, I recommend slicing the zucchini with a mandolin and allowing it to rest on some paper towels to absorb excess moisture. If you Thermo-blitz zucchini in chunks you’ll soon see how high the water content is in this vegetable! If you slice the zucchini and then give it a light blitz (and I do mean light) then you’ll get nice small think slices that don’t turn the yoghurt into soup.
For very thick tzatziki then you really must use the full fat Greek style yoghurt but if you prefer low/no fat, then please be prepared for a dip that is more like a thick dressing. As I wanted to use my tzatziki more as a dressing for my upcoming lamb and leek risotto anyway, I didn’t mind the runnier consistency of using low-fat yoghurt. To further reduce moisture, I used extra lemon peel for flavour instead of lemon juice. I didn’t feel the tzatzki needed to be more zesty.
The tzatziki is good to go as soon as it’s mixed up but a few hours in the fridge for the yoghurt to absorb the flavours is ideal.
Zucchini & Rosemary Tzatziki
(for 4 servings)
1/2 zucchini, sliced finely with mandolin or sliced by hand
1/2 garlic clove (if you prefer a stronger garlic flavour, I recommend using garlic powder)
1 small piece of citrus peel (lemon or cumquat)
1 small twig of rosemary, leaves removed from main stalk
100g Greek-style yoghurt (full fat is ideal but low fat is fine for a dressing style tzatziki)
salt and pepper to taste, or seasoned salt :)
To Make: Pat down zucchini slices with paper towel to remove excess moisture. Set aside. Add garlic, citrus and rosemary in Thermomix bowl or food processor. Blitz on Speed 10 for 30 seconds. It may not be possible to reduce the rosemary and peel to a powder but as long as the visible pieces are small, that’s fine. Add zucchini and blitz gently on Speed 3 for a second. There should only be small pieces of vegetable. Add yoghurt and combine using a spatula only. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer tzatziki to serving bowl and store covered in fridge until needed.