On Memorial Day weekend I often attend our local Greek Festival, which inspired me to create the Greek Tzatziki Dip with Yogurt – Garlic and Cucumber below. I blended Greek yogurt with extra virgin olive oil and added a touch of fresh mint, but you can substitute anise if you like the taste of licorice. I always enter the Festival’s raffle for a trip to Greece each year but so far, no dice.
- 1, 17.6 oz. (500 gr) carton of Fage Yogurt (or another strained Greek yogurt brand)
- 1 cucumber coarsely grated
- 3-4 mashed garlic cloves
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 3 Tbsp anise or mint (finely chopped)
- salt and pepper
- Put the grated cucumber into a thin tulle or gauze cloth and then place it into a sieve.
- Add salt, mix and let it drain for about 15 minutes.
- Squeeze the cucumber inside the cloth until the liquid is removed.
- Put it into a bowl and blend in all the remaining ingredients.
- Place in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving.
Olive oil is said to be a gift from the Gods because it gives us health and strength. Trees in the Santorini region of Greece date back between 50,000 and 60,000 years. Olive oil is not only used as an essential component of the Mediterranean diet but also for therapeutic purposes and often as a beauty aid. It’s been used on bandages for sprains, as an antidote for poisoning, and to heal wounds. Extra virgin olive oil soothes the body and helps heal first degree burns, sunburn, insect bites, skin disorders and the effects of bacteria on the skin. Even more so when blended with essential oil of lavender. (see a doctor first for severe burns)
My kid’s pediatrician often recommended warmed olive oil for earaches.
A spoonful of olive oil a day calms the stomach, relieves constipation, and is even a cure for a hangover.
Jeanne Calment, a Frenchwoman who lived to the ripe old age of 122 attributed her longevity and youthful appearance to using olive oil on her skin. She also poured it on her food. She was able to live on her own and ride a bicycle until she was 110, even though she smoked 2 cigarettes a day. (not recommended)
The monounsaturated fatty acids, found in olive oil, help prevent cardiac disease. It’s anti-oxidant properties and high level of vitamin E protects cells from oxidation and deterioration that may cause cancer. It reduces lipid levels, regulates blood sugar, aids in digestion and remains in the stomach longer than saturated fats curbing hunger.
What’s your favorite dip? Please leave a comment below.