How to make it

  • Note: Using Greek yogurt here is key; don’t substitute regular plain yogurt or the sauce will be very watery. FAGE Total Classic Greek yogurt is the most widely available brand in this country. You can also make your own Greek-style thickened yogurt (see procedure below) to use in place of the Greek yogurt.
  • Shred the cucumber on the large holes of a box grater. Whisk the yogurt, oil, mint, and garlic together in a medium bowl. Stir in the cucumbers and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour. (The sauce can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.)
  • To Make Greek-Style Thickened Yogurt: Make sure the yogurt doesn’t contain modified food starch, gelatin, or gums—they prevent the yogurt from draining. You can use whole, low-fat, or even nonfat yogurt to make the thickened yogurt, but whole-milk yogurt tastes best. Use 16 ounces (2 cups) of yogurt for this recipe.
  • 1. Line a fine-mesh strainer with 3 basket-style paper coffee filters or a double layer of cheesecloth. Set the strainer over a deep container (there should be enough room for a generous 1 cup liquid to drain without touching the strainer). Spoon the yogurt into the strainer, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until the yogurt has released about 1 cup liquid and has a creamy, thick texture, 10 to 12 hours (it can stay in the strainer for up to 2 days).
  • 2. Transfer the yogurt to a clean container, discarding the drained liquid, and refrigerate for up to 1 week.

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