Souvlaki – chunks of lamb marinated in lemon juice, olive oil, oregano and garlic, then grilled on skewers – is sold as a quick meal on many street corners in Athens.
The best cut of lamb to use is from the leg. Most supermarket meat departments will cut some for you, if it is not on display. I cook these kebabs on a stove-top grill, but a broiler or outdoor grill works, too. Serve the souvlaki with warm pita bread – on the side or cut and stuffed with the meat and vegetables.
A big, beautiful, large Greek-style salad with olives, chickpeas and feta cheese is almost a meal in itself. Feta, a sheep’s milk cheese, is essential and can be found in the dairy case.
▪ If using wooden skewers, soak them in water first.
▪ Place lamb and vegetables at least 1/2 inch apart on the skewers so that they will cook evenly. You may need extra skewers, if yours are small.
▪ Preheat broiler or grill
▪ Marinate lamb.
▪ Prepare salad.
▪ Cook kabobs.
Here are the ingredients you’ll need.
To buy: 2 medium lemons, 1 medium green pepper, 1 head romaine lettuce, 1 medium cucumber, 1 tomato, 1/2 pound lamb cut for kabobs, 1 small package feta cheese, 1 jar dried oregano, 1 small package whole-wheat pita bread, 1 small can chickpeas, 1 small container black pitted olives (6 needed) and 1 bottle oil and vinegar dressing.
Staples: Olive oil, garlic and onion.
1/2 pound lamb cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 medium cloves garlic crushed
1 medium green pepper
1/4 medium onion
2 kabob skewers
2 whole-wheat pitas, warmed
Preheat stove-top grill or broiler. Cut visible fat from lamb. Mix lemon juice, oil, oregano and garlic together. Add lamb and marinate 15 minutes, turning once during this time.
Wash and seed green pepper. Cut into 2-inch cubes. Slice onion into 1-inch pieces.
Remove lamb from marinade and thread onto skewers alternating with green pepper and onion slices. Place on grill. If using a broiler, place kabobs on foil-line a baking tray. Cook 5 minutes. Turn and cook 5 more minutes. Serve with pita.
Yield: 2 servings.
Per serving: 391 calories (28.6 percent from fat), 12.4 g fat (3.1 g saturated, 5.9 g monounsaturated),72 mg cholesterol, 30.1 g protein, 42.5 g carbohydrates, 6.3 g fiber, 359 mg sodium.
5 large romaine lettuce leaves
1 medium cucumber, peeled and sliced
1 tomato, cut in eighths
1/2 cup canned, rinsed and drained chickpeas
6 black olives, pitted
2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 1/2 tablespoons oil and vinegar dressing
Wash lettuce and tear into bite-size pieces. Toss with cucumber, tomato, chickpeas and olives. Crumble feta cheese on top. Sprinkle oregano and dressing over salad. Toss well.
Yield: 2 servings.
Per serving: 212 calories (49 percent from fat), 11.6 g fat (2.9 g saturated, 3.6 g monounsaturated), 8 mg cholesterol, 7.7 g protein, 22.3 g carbohydrates, 7.2 g fiber, 342 mg sodium.