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Vegetarian Gyros/Pita Bread

March 28, 2011

For my husband’s birthday a few weeks ago I made him a Greek meal: Gyros and Stewy Greek Beans. Since the star of a gyro is seasoned lamb meat, I knew I had to figure something out to make them vegetarian friendly so I could also partake in this delicious meal! So, after a little bit of research on exactly what spices go into that lamb and the selection of the yummiest vegetable ever – I found a winner.

First, the pita bread…

Pita Bread
Recipe Courtesy of Ehow.com

Ingredients:

  • ¼ oz. active dry yeast (1 packet)
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1½ cup warm water
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1½ tsp. salt
  • 2 tbsps. olive oil
  • Empty one packet of active dry yeast into a small bowl, and add one tsp. sugar. Add ½ cup of warm—but not hot–water and let the mixture stand for 15 minutes. The sugar will activate the yeast; the yeast will begin to foam as it grows.

    Place three cups of flour in a mixing bowl and add 1½ tsp. salt; mix these dry ingredients. Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and pour in the yeast mixture. Keep stirring while you add one cup of warm water. Keep mixing until all the flour is absorbed.

    Coat a large mixing bowl with two tbsps. of olive oil, and scoop the dough into the oil. Roll the dough ball around in the olive oil so that the entire ball is coated with oil. The oil will prevent the dough from sticking to the sides of the bowl. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and set it someplace warm to rise for about an hour (until doubled).

    Place some flour on a large flat surface, such as a cutting board or counter top. Smooth out the flour so the dough won’t stick to the surface. Knead the dough by pulling it and folding it over itself and pressing it down. The dough should be kneaded for about 10 minutes or until it becomes shiny and elastic. If the dough becomes sticky as it is being kneaded, add more flour.

     

     

    Form the dough into two-inch balls and set these on a floured plate; let them rise for 15 minutes. Then place them on the floured board and flatten them out with a lightly floured rolling pin until they are about five inches around and 1/8″ thick. Place the dough on a preheated cookie sheet in a 500-degree oven for five minutes. Turn the breads over and bake for an additional two minutes. Remove the breads from the oven and poke the tops with a fork to release the air inside. (Sometimes it helps to wrap them in a damp towel). Serve hot or let them cool. Store the bread in plastic bags.

     

    Gyro Filling

    Vegetables:

    • veg of your choice (I choose broccoli, yum!)
    • olive oil
    • rosemary
    • marjoram
    • garlic powder
    • salt and pepper

    Chop vegetable(s). Sauté in olive oil with a sprinkling of each of the herbs and spices. Easy-peasy.

    Tzatziki Sauce:
    Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown

    • 16 ounces plain yogurt
    • 1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and finely chopped
    • Pinch kosher salt
    • 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar (I used half lemon juice)
    • 5 to 6 mint leaves, finely minced

    Place the yogurt in a tea towel, gather up the edges, suspend over a bowl, and drain for 2 hours in the refrigerator (or use Greek yogurt – like I did!). Place the chopped cucumber in a tea towel and squeeze to remove the liquid; discard liquid. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the drained yogurt, cucumber, salt, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, and mint. Serve as a sauce for gyros. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to a week.

    Stuff the pita with your seasoned veg, top with sauce and some feta cheese – yum.

    -liz

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