While growing up in a Greek family, Gyros were a staple food. In fact, my grandpa knew the best gyros were served in Greek town in Detroit. On Sundays, the whole family would drive to Greek town for authentic greek food. Of course, that was also the first time I tasted Ouzo, a black licorice liquor my sister and I had no business drinking at our ages.
Although I hate Ouzo to this day, as well as anything with a black licorice flavoring, I still love gyros. Now that we no longer eat meat, we still enjoy a lot of Greek food but vegan.
Tonight, I decided to use eggplant as the foundation for my gyros. First, eggplant has a great texture when prepared correctly. For instance, you first need to cut it in lengthwise strips. I used my Mandolin Slicer to make uniform slices; then, I salted the slices to take out the bitterness of the eggplant. Then, I flipped it over and salted the other side. Although many people skip this step, I think it is necessary not only to get the butter taste out but to also take some of the water out of the eggplant.
After about 30 minutes, rinse the eggplant. Then, I marinated it in lemon, garlic and some Greek spices.
In order to grill the eggplant, it is quick and easy. Although I have grilled mats, I prefer to cook eggplant directly on the grill on low. It takes about 4 minutes per side, on low heat. I grilled my eggplant in advance, as I planned to grill the wrap in the panini maker, which will make it heat through.
The next step is easy, stuff with veggies, and tahini, and grill on the panini maker.Print
Vegan gyros are possible with grilled eggplant, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, tahini and dill. With just a few ingredients, you will LOVE this sandwich!
- 2 vegan whole grain wraps (I used Whole Foods ones)
- 1 large eggplant, slice lengthwise in 3/4 inch slices
- Generous amounts of salt for eggplant (to remove bitter taste and remove excess water)
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 large, hot house tomato cut into cubes
- 1 large white onion, sliced thin
- 1/2 cup fresh dill, chopped
- 1/2 head romaine lettuce, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste
- 1/2 cup well-stirred tahini (Middle Eastern sesame paste)
- 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill
- 1 teaspoon sumac
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- Slice zucchini in 3/4 in thick strips (lengthwise) (I used a Mandoline)
- Lay slices on a cookie sheet and generously salt; set aside
- After 30 minutes, flip slices over and salt again; set aside
- Then, rinse all salt off eggplant and place on paper towels to dry
- Combine marinade ingredients
- Lay eggplant back on cookie sheet; pour marinade over the top and cover
- In a one cup blender, add all ingredients and blend until smooth.
- TIP: Add Tahini last to avoid in sticking to the bottom of the blender
- Cut tomato, lettuce, onion and dill
GRILL AND WRAP YOUR GYRO
- Pre-heat grill to low
- Place eggplant slices directly on the grill
- Cook 4 minutes on each side; set aside
- Lay the wrap on a solid surface
- Place grilled eggplant in the middle of the wrapping the middle of the wrap, overlapping the eggplant
- Add lettuce, tomato, onions, dill, and top with tahini
- Roll like a burrito, pulling both sides in, and rolling tightly
- Pre-heat a panini maker to medium high; place wraps on the grill closing the top for 15 minutes until wrap is brown
- Slice in half
- Serve with additional sauce for dipping