The Sauce: Souvlaki Marinade – Mint, oregano, garlic with lemon, red wine vinegar and yogurt seep into bite-size chunks of tender pork.
‘Great Sauces Transform Good Food into Gourmet’
Meze’s been dancing about me for months; small saucers of Hummus, Baba Ghannouj, Keftedes, Falafel, tzatziki, olives, Pita Bread, Dolmades, Souvlaki and Labneh all swirling around my head. Gonna write about it but I’ve got a nagging urge to share Soulvaki first.
Pork Souvlaki marinaded and grilled by your Greek mama might be just like mine, or maybe not. Which herb combinations are your favorite or how much lemon’s squeezed in? Do you marinate then thread on skewers or vise versa? Are your sticks short for small bites or full length skewers.
I remember the grilled Soulvaki from the Greek place in the Marmalade district of Salt Lake City. Business development and updated city planning codes forced this dive to shut down. How can you improve the neighborhood without great souvlaki? How can you replace the ‘gas station turned into a Greek eatery’ with pristine condos and commercial businesses and chase away the best Greek food in town? Sigh!
Over and over I concocted variations, different combinations of souvlaki marinade, until I found one that tastes like that Greek place and now I’m sharing it with you. If you’re missing it too, you can reinvent it in your own kitchen.
Active Time: 30 Minutes | Total Time: 40 Minutes | Yield: 8-10 Servings
juice of 1 lemon
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp dried mint
1 Tbsp dried oregano
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp olive oil
pinch freshly ground pepper
2 lbs pork, cut in 1-inch chunks
1/2 cucumber, unpeeled, seeded
1 cup plain yogurt
1 Tbsp fresh dill
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp salt
few grinds black pepper
Special Equipment – skewers, 2 bowls and grill pan or skillet
1 For the marinade, combine lemon juice, red wine vinegar, mint, oregano, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Add pork and toss to coat. Cover and place in the fridge to marinate for 30 minutes.
2 Meanwhile coarsely grate the cucumber. Strain through a mesh strainer and discard the liquid. Combine the cucumber, yogurt, dill, olive oil, red wine vinegar, cumin, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
3 Heat a grill pan on medium high and coat with cooking spray. Thread the marinated pork chunks on the wooden skewers. Grill Souvlaki on both sides until just cooked through, about 2-3 minutes per side. Serve with Tzatziki sauce.
If you don’t have a grill pan, use a skillet or broil.
You can also finely dice the cucumber. It could also be peeled if desired.
Slide grilled Souvlaki off the skewers onto a warm pita round, add shredded lettuce tomato slices and a generous scoop of tzatziki sauce, fold and enjoy.
- Exchange pork for chicken chunks.
Inspiration – Helen Horton
Cook with Sauces
Souvlaki with Tzatziki Sauce
Written by Helen Horton
Recipe Tester for The Washington Post
Photography and Styling by Helen Horton
Updated: May 11, 2014