appetizers + hors d'oeuvres,  dips,  Greek + Mediterranean,  party food + snacks,  sauce,  vegetarian

Tzatziki Sauce + Dip

Should you or shouldn’t you on the first date?  

The answer depends on how confident you are with yourself and how comfortable you are with your partner. It really has to be a commitment from both parties. After all, if you both eat garlic, you should be fine because your garlickyness will cancel out his garlickyness. Right?

We were face to face with this dilemma on our first date. The culprit was tzatziki, loaded with garlic and garnished with scrapes. Garlic galore! The Man and I looked each other square in the eye. I think he could tell I do not easily part from my food. I was elbows deep before he could protest. Since he couldn’t talk me down from that ledge, he had no choice but to join me.

The rest is history.*

That little vignette was to warm you up to the notion that there are five cloves of garlic in this delicious sauce. Five. Cinco. Cinq. Cinque. Pénte.

But does it really matter when it comes to how damn good this tzatziki is??

Okay, I was trying to be a garlic bad ass. I mean, you can use 4-5 cloves in this recipe, but truth be told, I used green garlic, or a facsimile of baby garlic. It is not dried and is therefore intact: its cloves have not…cloven. Your baby green garlic is one.intact.bulb. Use the entire thing, or two even. Green garlic has full shoots like scallions, but it just a singular, immature garlic bulb. But with that immaturity comes big flavor with a milder, less hot-garlicky bite. De-lish, I tell ya.

The thick yogurt provides a buttery creaminess for quite a luxurious profile in spite of its “light” ingredients. You can dip just about anything in it…a gyro, vegetables, a spoon, your fingers…or drizzle it over salads, potatoes, poultry or seafood. Dip and drizzle away, guilt free!

And it is so easy!  

But hear me now:  there are several non-negotiables when you make this tzatziki.


  • Quality yogurt is A MUST.
  • Squeezing the water from your cucumbers is A MUST.
  • And if you don’t want your dip to become a swampy mess after it has been sitting, removing the seeds from your cukes is A MUST.

I use mini cukes because their seeds are a non-issue. I keep a little of the skin on them for color and hand grate them because I like a little body to my tzatziki. You could pulverize the cucumber in a food processor if you prefer your sauce to be thinner.

Drain the cucumbers in a towel over a sieve while you chop up your garden fresh herbs. Use any or all of these: mint, dill, chives. Add those to your yogurt, stir in some lemon juice, garlic, a drizzle of olive oil, vinegar, and seasonings and you are ready to get your dip on!



*After almost eleven long lovely years, we are still together. It would take much more than garlic to scare this awesome guy away.

Lucky me.

I am curious, though.  What is a real first date deal breaker for you?  Please chime in.

If you make this dip, I’d love to hear from you. Comment below and tag #nakedepicurean on Instagram so we can celebrate together!

Tzatziki Sauce + Dip

  • 3 baby cukes, striped and sliced
  • 2 cups plain Greek yogurt
  • 1-2 heads of green garlic, or 4-5 dried plump garlic cloves (or fewer), peeled and grated
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ½  teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 3 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
  • ¼  teaspoon ground white pepper

1. Grate your cucumbers. Drain them in a towel over a sieve for 30 minutes. Press the cucumber into the cloth to remove all excess water.

2. Add all the other ingredients. Adjust to taste.

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