Greek Meze Recipes for Hummus and Tzatziki

In a way Greek mezes are like a Hellenic version of tapas, the popular Spanish style of dining. They’re a social way of being able to try out a selection of different local specialities and are usually accompanied by glasses of retsina, or ouzo to help enhance the flavours of the food being served up and make any gathering where mezes are served a livelier one.

Usually featuring in any selection of mezes will be a variety of dips. Most of the time these dips will include tzatziki, taramasalata and occasionally tapenade. However, as the main ingredient for taramasalata, smoked cod’s roe, isn’t always easy to get hold of and many people either love or hate, the olive flavoured tapenade, this recipe is for two dips that are easy to create and universally devoured with gusto; tzatziki and hummus.

Tzatziki is a classic Greek dip of yoghurt, mint, garlic and cucumber and is ideal as part of a selection of other Greek dishes, or on its own as an appetiser. Hummus is actually a North African dip of chickpeas, tahini and garlic, but although rarely served on the Greek mainland, it is commonly served as a meze in the Greek Islands which lie near the Turkish coast.

Ingredients for Hummus

  • 400g jar of cooked chickpeas
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Water
  • 1 olive
  • Pinch of paprika

For four people

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: nil

Preparation for Hummus

  1. Blend the chickpeas and crushed garlic in a food processor until they form a very rough paste.
  2. Add the tahini, olive oil and lemon juice and blend again until the paste becomes smoother. To achieve a softer, smoother hummus trickle some fresh water into the blender until the preferred consistency is achieved.
  3. Add salt and blend for thirty seconds more.

Spoon the hummus dip into a bowl, garnish with the olive and paprika and serve with crusty bread, pitta or flatbreads.

Ingredients for Tzatziki

  • 200g natural Greek yoghurt
  • ½ a cucumber
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • ¼ tsp dried mint
  • ¼ tsp dried dill
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar

For four people

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: nil

Preparation for Tzatziki

  1. Grate the cucumber, squeeze out excess juice and place in a bowl.
  2. Add the yoghurt and garlic and mix thoroughly.
  3. Mix in the mint, dill and white wine vinegar.
  4. Drizzle the olive oil over the tzatziki and mix in.

Spoon the tzatziki dip into a bowl and serve with crusty bread, pitta or flatbreads.

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Greek Visions Today