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August 3, 2015
At Home with Friends


Israeli Salad & Tzatziki

Israeli Salad is so simple to make and fresh tasting that it’s a great addition to any summer party.

I use small Persian cucumbers that don’t even have to be peeled. Could it be easier? You can tweak this basic recipe by adding finely diced purple onions or even diced Kalmata olives.

In the Pulled Lamb Sandwiches, it was added to the pita to give a bite of crunch. The freshness of the cucumber, tomatoes and parsley complimented the savory, succulent pulled lamb. Sometimes the simplest recipes pack the biggest flavor.

Don’t forget about this simple salad and use your imagination to incorporate it into your menu.

Another simple recipe that made the Pulled Lamb Sandwiches stellar was the Tzatziki. Tzatziki is a simple sauce made with Greek yoghurt, diced cucumbers, garlic and fresh dill.

Many cuisines have variations on this type of sauce. Raita in Indian food is similar and even my Mom made a salad dressing that tasted like this.

It’s simple but you must use the best quality ingredients available. Rich Greek yoghurt, the freshest dill, carefully peeled, diced and drained cucumbers with a touch of fresh raw garlic combine to make this sauce you will use over and over.


EVENT: Game Night

YIELD: 6 Servings *


3 medium tomatoes, chopped

6 small Persian cucumbers, chopped

¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or to taste

Salt and pepper to taste

Diced purple onion (optional)


1. Stir together tomatoes, cucumber, parsley and salt and pepper to taste.

2. Squeeze lemon juice over salad and stir.

* A NOTE: Recipe can easily be doubled or tripled. 



EVENT: Game Night

YIELD: 3 Cups


1 large cucumber, peeled and diced

16 oz (2 cups) plain Green yoghurt, chilled (full fat or fat free) *

4 cloves garlic, crushed

1/3 cup fresh dill, chopped

Juice of ½ lemon

½ teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper


1. Strain cucumbers of juices by squeezing the diced cucumbers by the fistfuls. If you thoroughly drain the cucumbers, the Tzatziki will be good for several days. If you skip this step, the Tzatziki will turn watery.

2. Combine the strained and chopped cucumbers with plain Greek yoghurt, 1 ½ tablespoon lemon juice, crushed garlic, chopped dill, salt and pepper.

3. Mix everything together. Taste and add more salt or pepper if needed.

4. Refrigerate for about 1 hour prior to serving or overnight, to let the flavors marry.

* A NOTE: I usually buy Greek yoghurt at Costco.