Garlic pitas with double-cream tzatziki (photograph by Tasha Seccombe)

When it comes to Summer tapas, simpler is always better. And when you love Greek food as much as I do, you simply have to go with freshly baked garlic pitas dipped in thick, double-cream tzatziki.

I roll the dough out in 2 large pita bases, or make 8 small hand-size pitas. Don’t be shy with the garlic – you have to commit on this one. I have to admit, after doing this shoot (eating on the job is a prerequisite) I was a walking garlic bomb for 2 days straight. It felt great – true Greek style!

For the tzatziki, I based my recipe on the authentic tzatziki that we had in Athens when we traveled there in 2010. It is very thick, almost like a cucumber and mint “salad”, made with well-strained cucumbers and double-thick Greek yoghurt. Add some olive oil and I’m back in a taverna on the cobbled streets of Plaka.

Ingredients for pitas:

  • 2 cups (500 ml) flour
  • 2 t (10 ml) instant yeast
  • 1 t (5 ml) sugar
  • 1/2 t (2,5 ml) salt
  • 3/4 cup (185 ml) lukewarm water
  • 1 T (15 ml) olive oil
  • for topping: 8-10 garlic cloves, crushed, mixed with 1/3 cup olive oil
  • salt & pepper for seasoning

Method for pitas:

  1. In a large bowl, mix flour, yeast, sugar and salt together. Add water and olive oil and mix until a sticky dough forms. Knead until the dough becomes soft and pliable. Cover and let it rise in a warm area for about 15-30 minutes until doubled in size.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 240/250 C for at least 20 minutes.
  3. Divide dough in 2 (for large pitas) or 8 (for small pitas). On a well floured surface, roll out one piece at a time into circular shapes, adding a little more flour to make sure the dough doesn’t stick. Transfer to a large baking tin lined with baking paper.
  4. Spread with garlic & olive oil topping, season lightly with salt & pepper, then bake for 5-8 minutes or until golden brown and crisp on the edges. Serve immediately on a wooden board.

Ingredients for tzatziki:

  • 1/2 cucumber, seeds removed and coarsely grated
  • 250 ml double-cream Greek yoghurt
  • 2-3 T chopped fresh mint
  • 1 T olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed

Method for tzatziki:

  1. Spread grated cucumber on a clean tea towel over a wire rack, sprinkle with salt, and drain for 15-30 minutes. Make sure that most of the water is removed from the cucumber by wringing it lightly in the tea towel if necessary.
  2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, mix yoghurt, mint, olive oil and garlic. Add drained cucumber and season with pepper.
  3. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.



This post was especially written for The Pretty Blog by Ilse van der Merwe from The Food Fox.

Food & recipe: Ilse van der Merwe.

Photography: Tasha Seccombe.

Styling: Tasha Seccombe & Nicola Pretorius

Glasses and Tablecloth : Poetry

Simple, Greek-inspired food. (photograph by Tasha Seccombe)
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  1. you should also try with dill instead of mint and a dash of white vinegar in the tzatziki

    1. Thanks Dorina! Yes, I’ve heard that some people use mint and vinegar, but haven’t tried it myself – will surely give it a go soon!

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