Cucumber Yogurt Dip (Greek tsatsiki)

We always look forward to cucumbers in the summer because I like to make tsatsiki a few times a week. It’s a great condiment or sauce for hot weather!

1 large (or 2 medium) cucumbers, peeled and finely diced or grated
1 tsp salt
1 cup plain yogurt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbls lemon juice
¼ tsp pepper
1 Tbls olive oil
2 Tbls fresh parsley and/or mint leaves, minced
Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)

Mix the diced cucumber with the salt and let it drain in a colander in the sink for 1 hour (this step can be omitted and you’ll still have a good result, but more watery). Squeeze out the juices from the cucumber. Mix all ingredients together and chill in the fridge until serving (this chilling period helps the flavors meld, but again you’ll have an excellent tasting result if you make it and serve it immediately).
You can transform tsatsiki into Indian raita by omitting the lemon juice, pepper, olive oil, parsley/mint, and cayenne and substituting 1 TSP ground cumin and 3 TBSP minced fresh cilantro leaves.