Friday, September 24, 2010

Gyros and Revithia (Greek Chickpea Soup)

How the heck do you pronounce Gyro!?! Jai-row? Gear-o? Euro? The way I grew up saying it, wasn't the way I had to say it at a restaurant I worked at that served them, and others will come up with endless pronunciations to constantly stump me. Luckily for me, this post is typed, and I don't actually have to pronounce that word once! Either way, being vegan, Gyros come few and far between so I decided to make one myself.

Ground gyro tempeh patty with a homemade spice blend, Roma tomatoes, red onions and creamy cucumber tzatziki sauce on fluffy pita bread. Rich chickpea soup with lemon zest and parsley.

1/2 white onion, cut into chunks
8oz tempeh
2 garlic cloves
1 tbl dried marjoram
1 tbl dried rosemary
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 tbl extra virgin olive oil
Pita bread (not pockets!)
2 Roma tomatoes, sliced 1/4" thick
1 red onion, sliced thinly
tzatziki sauce, recipe follows

In a food processor, pulse the onion until it is in small shreds. Add the tempeh, garlic, spices and salt and pepper. Pulse until completely ground and combined. Form into long rectangular patties and chill for 30 minutes.
In a large saute pan, heat the oil and saute the tempeh patties on both sides until golden brown.
Garnish pita with tomatoes, red onion slices and tzatziki sauce.

Tzatziki Sauce
1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded and chunk to chunks
2 garlic cloves
6 oz plain soy yogurt
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp salt
4 mint leaves

In a food processor, pulse the cucumber into small pieces. Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Season with more salt if necessary and chill until ready to eat.

Revithia (Greek Chickpea Soup)
2 tbl extra virgin olive oil
1/2 white onion, small dice
1 carrot, small dice
1 celery stalk, small dice
3 garlic cloves
zest of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1-15oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed, 1/2c beans reserved to the side
3c vegetable stock
2 bay leaves
fresh parsley for garnish

In a stock pot, heat the oil and add the onion, carrot and celery. Saute over medium heat until tender, 7-10 minutes. Add the garlic and lemon zest and cook 2 more minutes. Add the spices, salt and pepper and toss. Add chickpeas and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Transfer the soup to a blender and blend until completely smooth. Return back to the heat, add the reserved 1/2 cup of beans, bay leaves and simmer for 10 more minutes. Adjust seasoning and taste for more salt and pepper and garnish with fresh parsley and a drizzle of olive oil.

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