Tzatziki and Greek Meatballs

Tzatziki and Greek Meatballs

Tzatziki 2

Hello!  I am so excited to be sharing this recipe for Tzatziki with you!  I learned it from Ingrid (Bungalows Ingrid) during our stay in Greece.  She shared many fascinating stories and recipes with me as I sat at the bar scribbling notes.

Greece 603

Tzatziki is a traditional Greek sauce which you will always find in cafe’s, restaurants and tavernas and it accompanies everything!  They also bring it to your table as an appetizer with some chunks of bread or crackers.  It is such a delectable cucumber yogurt sauce.

  I made it a couple nights ago without cucumber and it looks like this…

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Sometimes in our house we make a Greek Meatball Salad with Tzatiki Dressing.

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I never really made meatballs much before our trip. Pretty sure this is because I always associated meatballs with Hawaiian meatballs or Spaghetti and Meatballs.  Over the years, when we crave spaghetti, we make a Bolognese sauce.  Meatballs just never popped into my mind, but when you walk into a little butcher shop in an ancient Greek village and the man is grinding up meat for someone… Well, you decide to get some ground beef one night and take it to the Bungalow where you make some meatballs! Now, we just love meatballs (and I make them with ground lamb) but instead of heavy pasta, it is quite good to serve them on salad.   Naturally, we have a certain teenager in the house who still wants some noodles too.

And then you find that certain teenager creating what I would call “The Greek Meatball Salad Platter” and it looks something like this…

Charlie's meatball platter

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cucumber (peeled, seeded and finely chopped) *Some recipes call for 2 cucumbers, but my husband is not crazy about the flavor so I only use 1…Adjust however
  • 2  8oz. Containers of Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1 Lemon (juiced)
  • 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 3 Cloves of Fresh Minced Garlic
  • 1/2 Cup Fresh Chopped Dill
  • S & P

Directions: Combine cucumber, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and dill in your food processor.  Add the yogurt.  Salt and Pepper to taste.  Serve with  Souvlaki, Gyros, Crackers, Bread or Meatballs (see below for recipe)!

To make the meatballs put your ground lamb (if you can’t get lamb try ground turkey??)  in a mixing bowl and add the garlic, lemon zest and oregano… Preheat your oven

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Add the green onions…

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Mix it all up and roll it into 20 or so meatballs.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. ground lamb
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Cloves Garlic (minced)
  • 1 Tbsp. Lemon Zest
  • 2 Tbsp. Fresh Oregano
  • 1 Bunch green onions chopped (3/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup panko crumbs or cracker crumbs
  • 2 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp. Kosher salt
  • Freshly Cracked Pepper (optional)

Preheat oven to 375.  Mix all the ingredients well and shape into balls.  Makes about 20.  Bake 45 minutes or until done.  Excellent on salad or your favorite pasta!

Comments

  1. I only ever do meatballs with pasta too – thanks for this idea. How was the rest of the food in Greece? I’ve never been because I thought it might be (dare I say it) a bit boring after a while? Greece looks so beautiful tho!

    • The beauty of Greece is in its people. When you sit and talk with them, you can really get a feel for their incredible culture. Such history and tradition! Skills that have been handed down for centuries…As for the cuisine, it is so fresh and the simplicity makes it great. It’s not like walking in to some American restaurant where everything is processed, but rather like being in their family kitchen. Everything is locally grown. (olive oil, etc.) Meat, Fire, Citrus…Yum! We’ve never come home from a trip so energized and healthy. Can’t wait to return!

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