Given that I never used to think I’d like Mediterranean food (I used to hate feta and refused to try any dips for fear of the t.e.x.t.u.r.e.), tzatziki felt like the natural next (and last) dip to try, to round out this Mediterranean detour I’ve taken.
I went with Love & Lemons’ tzatziki recipe, which calls for Greek yogurt, cucumbers, fresh dill, lemon, and some aromatics. Perhaps I felt emboldened by my recent discoveries in the “Dips and Spreads” field, but I wasn’t very nervous to try this. I like all of those ingredients individually and couldn’t see any reason why I wouldn’t like them combined.
I made Half Baked Harvest’s chicken meatball pita bowls to go with the tzatziki—another new recipe for me. Tieghan Gerard, the genius behind Half Baked Harvest, has been making fresh pita on her Instagram a lot lately, and it had me really wanting some.
Of course, that would mean that I’d need to go through the trouble of making my own pita, which I didn’t feel like doing. Maybe some other time. But I settled for the best premade brand I could find at the store and warmed it up before serving dinner.
It pains me to write this. I went into this dinner with such bravado—how could a cucumber-dill-yogurt dip steer me wrong? Clearly the hummus went straight to my head.
Guys, I hated this dinner.* I hated it in the way that I always assumed I’d hate all Mediterranean food. I forced myself to finish one chicken meatball (they were very small) and then got french fries delivered to my apartment.
The meatballs were pretty bland, with the only discernible flavor coming from the cumin (why do I keep adding that to anything???).
I didn’t even finish the pita bread!! What kind of sense does that make?!
But this post is about the tzatziki. Here’s the thing. I like cucumbers. I like to bite into one and chew it. But do I need anything other than a straight-up cucumber to have a cucumber flavor? Methinks not.
As my brother so wisely put it, “meals like that are too cucumbersome” (he’s a dad now, in case the joke didn’t make it obvious enough).
And then there was the dill. I don’t mind dill, but again, it was a little too much for me in this dip. I also might’ve been slightly bitter that I bought a tree’s worth of dill and only needed half a tablespoon and now don’t know what to do with the rest.
Even the Greek yogurt was too much in this dip! It was like the recipe combined a bunch of things that I only like a little, to create a bowl of something I didn’t like at all!
I should note that I don’t think this was the recipe’s fault. From what I can see, this is a fairly typical tzatziki recipe, so “normies” would probably thoroughly enjoy this. When I told my sister-in-law that I hated it, she was shocked and disappointed. I’m sure you all know this by now if you’ve read enough about my dysfunctional eating habits, but it bears repeating: don’t judge a recipe on my opinion alone.
Unless I say I like something. Then you should probably be embarrassed if you don’t like it too.
I’d be very curious to try a restaurant’s version of tzatziki. I’ve seen this stuff before, and although I never bothered to try it before this week (why try anything new if I can’t take credit for it on the blog?), it never looked all that bad to me. I think my homemade version just went awry.
So I haven’t given up on tzatziki yet! Progress! If you make your own tzatziki, send me the pics on Instagram @thepickyeaterchronicles, and tell me all the reasons I’m wrong about this entire post.
*NOTE: If you clicked the link to Half Baked Harvest’s chicken meatball pita bowls, you saw that she served them with oven-baked fries. I didn’t make them for this dinner, but I have made them before, and they’re amazing! This recipe remains pinned for the fries alone!