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Greek Souvlaki Salad

I have been to Greece twice in my life and it is my absolute favorite country that I have ever visited (other than England of course).  I have clear memories of visiting the Acropolis in Athens where we walked around the ruins of the Parthenon and down the many steps of the Theatre of Dionysus.  I remember my little sister Jenna and I racing on the track where the first Olympics were held in Olympia and getting on boats and buses to visit other amazing parts of the Greek islands with my Mum and Dad.

It may not surprise you to hear though, that my most vivid memories are of the food!  I remember seeing spits of lamb being roasted vertically and eating meat that was freshly carved off of it... and eating Greek Salad with lettuce, tomatoes, olives and feta cheese at the Greek Tavern with grapes hanging down all around from the garden arches. Oh, the flavors... dolmathes, spanakopita, moussaka, gyros, souvlaki, baklava... my mouth waters just thinking about it all... was it any wonder that one of the first things I made for my hubby when we got married was authentic Greek moussaka?  I thought he would just HAVE to love it. It took me two hours to make that dinner... and he wouldn't even try it!!!!

Ah well, he has broadened his culinary horizons since then quite a lot and he likes Greek food too thanks to our two favorite Greek restaurants from back east... Chef Theo's and Greek Village.  These restaurants were owned and run by Greeks so they served served authentic Greek cuisine.  No Americanized chain restaurant food served here!  One of our favorites has always been the gyro's or souvlaki served on Mediterranean flat bread. 

So this week we decided to try and re-create the Greek flavors I crave and attempt our own Souvlaki here at home.  I looked at many different recipes for a Greek marinade and tzatziki but ultimately I decided to try the ones from Our Best Bites, because I always love their recipes AND I absolutely adore the photographs... the food always looks so perfectly good.  So I whipped up a batch of their Greek Dressing/Marinade.  I knew this was going to be a good choice because it had freshly squeezed lemon juice, oil, parmesan cheese, cracked black pepper and minced garlic... all the key flavors for me.  Once the marinade was together, I cubed up boneless pork loin, poured half the marinade over it, (reserve the other half for drizzling later), and let it sit for at least 30 minutes to an hour.

While that was marinating, I threw together the tzatziki.  You can't have souvlaki without tzatziki.  I'm pretty sure it is illegal. ;)  I prefer the English cucumbers over the regular ones for this recipe, because they aren't covered in wax, so you don't have to peel them if you don't want to, and there are a LOT less seeds... so you don't have to seed them if you don't want to... but that's my preference...

Once the meat is good and marinated, throw it on the skewers and grill it about 3-4 minutes on each side... till it looks kind of like this... and registers at least 145 degrees on the thermometer.

Now make sure you picked up some gooooooooooood flat bread... Regular pita pockets just don't cut it.  I personally like these...

You can get them at Sams Club and they are seriously yummy... but any flat bread will do. Brush the bread lightly with olive oil and grill them for just 30 seconds or so on each side... till they are warm and just starting to crisp.  Now place a flat bread on a plate and drizzle it with a little of the reserved dressing/marinade.  Top it with the pork off of one of the skewers then add shredded romaine lettuce, chopped onion, halved grape tomatoes, kalamata or black olives and tzatziki.  Then drizzle a little more dressing and sprinkle feta cheese over the top.

I'm not gonna lie... this is pretty heavenly... It's gonna make you want to smash your plate on the floor and shout "OPA!!!!" when you are done. :)


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