CSA Tzatziki!


This summer, I had intentions on planning a Mediterranean summer. I have friends traveling to Cyprus, Turkey and Greece. I wanted to join them. Unfortunately, my 2011 summer budget just wouldn’t allow my two week fantasy of food, sun, beach and relaxing-but-stimulating conversation around an outdoor table filled with mezzes. Or would it? I’m a New Yorker, and what we do best is find a way to have it all. I have been collecting food and drink things like olives, olive oil and ouzo, (commonly known as OOoO) to have a Mediterranean summer on the banks of the East River. With determination, it will be just like Athens, except not ancient (or in peril of a bailout.)

I was also inspired by a recent email from my favorite newsletter, Brooklyn Based on Midwood Turkish culinary delights. A quote:

The Turks, for their part, use yogurt as liberally as mustard or ketchup—atop pasta, roast meats and vegetables alike.

So, of course, I went out and bought a big tub of greek yogurt, determined to put yogurt on everything. Fast forward to our CSA pickup… all I could think of was how to put yogurt with any and everything. It finally clicked when our final member came to pickup her share: Tzatziki sauce! Turns out that you don’t even need cucumbers – radishes have the same ability to create a sense of crunch and body in the sauce. Recipe below.

Radish Tzatziki

2 large radishes (sized from Angel Family Farm)
2 small to medium cloves of garlic
2 Tablespoons chopped dill (best from the Angels)
1 cup of greek yogurt
Salt to taste
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

Clean and grate radishes on the largest grate side. With a strainer, drain radishes of excess water- you can apply pressure to fully drain radishes of excess liquid. This step helps keep your tzatziki from being too watery. With the flat part of a medium or large knife, smash garlic cloves. Chop smashed garlic into small pieces. In a medium mixing bowl, add chopped dill, grated radishes and yogurt. Mix thoroughly. Add salt and olive oil to taste and consistency. Chill for at least 3 hours to allow flavors to combine.

Serve with toasted pita, skewered meat, or just alone. Enjoy!

author’s note: Since making it, I have had it with brisket and cornbread, curried vegetables and rice, and as a dip with cold cuts.

-Mary Jeys, your enterprising TNS CSA organizer since 2009

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