Greek souvlaki plate with all the sides
I really love Greek food. I also married a Greek guy. That means that meals like this are pretty frequent in my house. This souvlaki plate, loaded with grilled and fresh vegetables, rice, tzatziki, pita and souvlaki is a great Sunday dinner. Even better, it makes for THE BEST leftover lunch.
For those who aren't meat eaters, there are a number of good meat free souvlaki options in most decent sized grocery stores. I like Yves Veggie Souvlaki Skewers. You could also make this with a grilled shrimp skewer.
One thing to note: I'm not exactly sure what "authentic" Greek rice is but this recipe for lemony rice pilaf is easy and tasty and anyway, no Greek cook will ever give up his/her recipe for anything. Ever.
1 pork loin - silver skin removed and cut into 1.5 inch cubes
1/2 cup red wine
1 tbsp dried oregano
2-3 stalks fresh oregano
2 cloves garlic crushed
juice of one lemon
1 small onion - peeled and halved
1. place all ingredients in a freezer bag and place in the refrigerator to marinate for a minimum of 1 hour. 4-6 hours is best.
2. once marinated, skewer the meat and refrigerate until ready to barbecue.
3. 20 minutes before dinner time, season the souvlaki with salt. barbecue skewers until cooked through and slighty charred on the outside.
NOTE: if you're unsure about whether or not your souvlaki is cooked through, just cut one cube open and take a look. pork should be cooked through with no pink spots and juices should run clear.
1.5 cups greek yogurt
3 tbps olive oil
2 cloves garlic - finely minced
1/4 english cucumber - peeled, seeded and minced
3 tbsp dill - minced
juice of one lemon
1. combine all ingredients in a bowl and adjust seasoning to your taste. refrigerate as long as possible to allow flavours to marry.
Marinated Grilled Eggplant and Peppers
1 eggplant - sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
2-3 red peppers - halved and seeded
4-5 cloves garlic - minced
2 tbsp fresh oregano - chopped
3-4 tbsp olive oil
juice and zest of one lemon
1. in a large bowl or baking dish, combine garlic, oregano, oil, salt, pepper, lemon juice and lemon zest
2. add vegetables and toss, ensuring all sides are coated with marinade
3. marinate for 25 minutes on the counter top
4. grill until cooked through and slightly charred. set aside until you're ready to eat
My Greek Rice Pilaf
1 cup long grain rice - washed thoroughly
1/4 tsp saffron
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic - minced
1 shallot - minced
juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 and 3/4 cups water or chicken stock
1 tbsp chicken stock or water in a small bowl
juice of 1 lemon (or more if you prefer)
salt and pepper
1. heat olive oil in rice pot over high heat and add onion and garlic. season with a pinch of salt and sautée until onion is translucent.
2. add saffron threads to your small bowl of water or chicken stock. stir and set aside.
2. add washed rice, butter, lemon zest and juice, salt and pepper, saffron threads and liquid, water or chicken stock.
3. bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. cover and cook 20 minutes or until all of the liquid has been absorbed.
4. before serving, fluff rice with a fork.
To assemble this dish, pile everything up into a large bowl or plate with a spoonful of tzatziki in the middle. I like to garnish with some chopped cherry tomatoes (tossed with red wine vinegar, olive oil and salt) kalamata olives, feta, grilled pita (brushed with olive oil and herbs) and chopped dill. Put on the football game and eat this on the sofa. There's no other way.