Tzatziki! Saat-zee-kee (thank you Mary ;))! Yey!! It’s one of my all-time favourite dips. It’s Greek, it’s fresh, it’s tasty and it’s healthy! What more could you want out of a dip? Huh? Huh?
I was really excited to try out this recipe. I’ve never actually made tzatziki before but have had it soo many times in France – home-made or store-bought. And of course any home-made version would out-shine the store-bought ones ten times over. It is indeed very popular in France, along with the other decadent yummy dip: taramasalata. But that’s another story.
Anyway, I immediately remembered my dear Turkish friend Najat who first introduced me to cajik (is that how you spell it?) which is very similar to tzatziki, only a bit more liquidy. I think the difference was in the type of yoghurt used. But anyway, she served it with this vegetable fritters which I found out later were made out of courgette, carrots, feta cheese and lotsaa herbs. It was a match made in heaven! So so good. The fritters were hot and crunchy, the dip was cold and soothing.
So naturally I tried to replicate Najat’s fritters to pair it with this week’s FFwD assignment. I found several recipes for the Greek version over the internet and have taken bits out of each one to make my own version. I decided to make courgette pancakes instead of fritters so I added a bit of flour to the mix. And the result was really quite good. My husband finished 5 in one go, carefully layering each pancake with Dorie’s tzatziki (into which I added sprinkles of chilli flakes for a bit of heat and a bit of lemon zest for zing). Definitely à refaire!!
Greek Courgette Pancakes [Kolokitho Keftedes]
Adapted from various sources – serves 4
- 1/2 lb courgette, grated
- 1/2 lb potatoes, grated
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
- 2 tbsp mint, coarsely chopped
- 1 tbsp dill, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
- 1/2 cup panko
- 1 small onion, grated
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/4 cup flour
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Pinch of red chilli flakes, to taste
- 1/2 cup canola oil, for pan frying
MAKE BATTER: Mix courgette, potatoes and salt in a strainer; set a weighted plate on top; let drain for 30 minutes. Transfer courgette and potatoes to a cheese cloth; squeeze out liquid as much as you can. Mix courgette, potatoes, herbs, cheese, panko, onion, garlic, lemon zest, flour and egg in a bowl. Season with red chilli flakes.
Pour oil into a skillet; heat over medium heat. Fry a little batter first to test-taste the seasoning. If it needs more salt, by all means, add more salt to the batter.
Working in batches, PAN FRY A TABLESPOON OR SO OF BATTER and shape directly into a pancake until browned and crisp, 1-2 minutes each side. Transfer pancakes to paper towels.
SERVE WITH TZATZIKI.
Tzatziki (in 5 steps)
- Very finely dice your seedless cucumbers and transfer to a bowl. Add a bit of salt and let stand for about 30 minutes.
- Transfer cucumbers into a cheese cloth and drain all the liquid as best as you can.
- In another bowl, mix together Greek yoghurt, lemon zest, olive oil, lemon juice, chilli flakes, garlic, mint and dill.
- Add in the cucumbers to the yoghurt mix and taste for salt.
- Chill and serve with raw carrot/cucumber/courgette sticks, potato chips, or anything Greek.
The complete recipe can be found in Dorie Greenspan’s “Around My French Table”.
- Dorie Greenspan’s book: “Around My French Table”
- French Fridays with Dorie
- Amazon page for Dorie’s book