Bored with traditional cucumber tzatziki? Try renowned Australian chef George Calombaris’ much more colorful carrot version.
This is traditional Greek food, but not as you know it. George has created dishes that you know and love and given them a modern twist.
You could start with a baklava cocktail, moving on to dishes such as taramosalata popcorn, ouzo-soaked cucumbers, slow-cooked lamb and miso eggplant souvlaki and prawn saganaki tortellini with tomato and mustard seed vinaigrette. And to finish? Hellenic mess!
“We must cook not only to fill our stomachs, but more importantly to fill our hearts and souls,” Calombaris says.
Calombaris is one of Australia’s top chefs and is equally recognized as one of the country’s favorite judges on MasterChef Australia, the highest rating program on local television. His hospitality group, MAdE Establishment, comprises 20 restaurants offering his signature Greek cuisine from premium through to casual dining with The Press Club, Hellenic Republic, Gazi, Jimmy Grants and Yo-Chi, respectively.
Away from his restaurant kitchens and television appearances in Australia, Calombaris mostly enjoys cooking the food that he grew up with — food made with love and designed to be shared.
In his cookbook, titled “Greek,” Calombaris shares his enthusiasm for all things Greek, always adding modern tweaks by stamping his own adventurous culinary spirit on traditional recipes.
George Calombaris’ Carrot Tzatziki Recipe
“This dip is made with some pretty simple ingredients, but it is so important to roast your garlic before you use it,” Calombaris explains. “Roasting removes the astringent flavour that can be a little overpowering. There is nothing worse than going out for meal and tasting it again the next day, if you know what I mean.”
- 250 g natural yoghurt
- 1 clove garlic, unpeeled
- 200 g carrots
- ½ teaspoon salt flakes
- 1 teaspoon honey (Buy your fresh Greek honey here)
- ¹⁄8 teaspoon cayenne
- pepper (optional)
- finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon natural yoghurt, extra
- extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling (Buy your Greek extra virgin olive oil here)
- crispy fennel-seed flatbread, to serve
- Begin this recipe one day ahead.
- Place the yoghurt in the centre of a clean J-cloth or square of muslin. Bring the corners together and tie securely with string, then place in a sieve with a bowl underneath to catch any liquid. Drain in the fridge overnight. The hung yoghurt is now ready to use.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan-forced). Wrap the garlic clove in foil and roast for 10–15 minutes or until soft. Allow to cool, then remove the skin.
- Wash and peel the carrots, then finely grate. Season with the salt and set aside for 15 minutes, then place in the centre of a clean J-cloth or square of muslin and wring out any excess moisture.
- Measure out 75 g of the hung yoghurt and combine in a bowl with the carrot, garlic, honey, cayenne pepper (if using), lemon zest, lemon juice and extra yoghurt. Leftover hung yoghurt can be used to make other dips, such as the beetroot tzatziki.
- Transfer the tzatziki to a bowl and drizzle with a little olive oil. Serve with crispy flatbread.
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