For some reason, there are several foods that I only really enjoy when made into something. For example; I’m not a big tomato eater, but I love tomato sauce; I hate cabbage, but I could eat sauerkraut everyday; I think raw cucumbers are unappetizing, but I could eat enough tzatziki sauce to make me Greek. I’m weird, what can I say.
So, anyway, if there is any culture that is familiar with living in hot weather it has to be the Greeks. Most of their traditional cuisine seems to be well suited for hot summer days. Especially souvlaki. If you aren’t familiar with Souvlaki let me enlighten you. It’s a pita layered with grilled chicken, tomatoes, onions, kalamata olives and a generous helping of Tzatziki, a yogurt and cucumber sauce. Typically it is served as a sandwich, but I made this into a knife and fork meal. If you can find fresh pocketless pitas where you live, get some. The store bought flatbread works really well too. This makes a lot of tzatziki sauce so make plenty of chicken so you can have lunch for a few days.
2 cups plain yogurt ( low fat or FF is okay)
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and grated
1 1/2 t. salt
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 t dried dill
2 T olive oil
1 1/2 t. lemon juice
1 T dried oregano
1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless, chicken breasts cut into strips
4 pocketless pitas
1 small onion sliced
2 tomatoes, sliced
1/3 cup kalamata olives, pitted
Mix lemon juice, oregano, 1/4 t. of salt, pepper, and oil in bowl. Toss chicken in mixture and set aside.
Put yogurt in a strainer that has cheesecloth or a coffee filter in it and let the yogurt drain for 15 minutes. Put the cucumber in a bowl and add 1 t. salt and let set for 15 minutes. Squeeze cucumber is remove liquid and combine with yogurt in a bowl. Add garlic, pepper, and dill. Put in the fridge.
Heat the grill or broiler and cook chiken until done. Throw the pitas over the flame for a few minutes to toast them up. To serve, put the pita on the plates and top with onion, chicken, tomatoes and olives. Spoon tzatziki sauce on top and enjoy!