Serious Eats: Recipes

Beet Tzatziki

[Photograph: Jonathan Lovekin]

Tzatziki—that cool, creamy sauce-salad of yogurt and cucumbers—has become synonymous with Greek cuisine. And while the Greeks do their fair share of tzatziki eating, it's worth noting that nearly every country in the eastern Mediterranean region boasts their own take on the yogurt-based dish, ranging from soups and salads to sauces and refreshing beverages. Tzatziki (or talattouri or cacık, depending on who you ask) plays a huge role in Eastern Mediterranean fare.

Silvena Rowe offers up several versions of tzatziki in her Purple Citrus & Sweet Perfume including this vibrant Beet Tzatziki. Like any tzatiki worth its salt, this one begins the night before by making a batch of suzme, a thick, rich yogurt made by draining the liquid from a quart of plain yogurt.

Instead of the classic cucumber, Rowe adds roasted shredded beets along with tzatiki staples like lemon juice, garlic, and olive oil. In a nod to her Bulgarian heritage, Rowe finishes this beet and yogurt salad with a handful of chopped walnuts. This version of tzatziki is more of a salad than a sauce and makes a beautiful addition to a mezze spread.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Purple Citrus & Sweet Perfume to give away this week.

Reprinted with permission from Purple Citrus & Sweet Perfume by Silvena Rowe, copyright © 2011. Published by Ecco.

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