Santorini Inspired Souvlaki

Oia

Not my picture. Copied from – http://www.csd.uoc.gr/~chasap/photogallery/santorini/oia.JPG

Brianna of Oishii recently posted a salmon recipe inspired by a visit to Greece and it got me thinking of my own visits to the country.  

My first trip was four years ago.  I was living in Finland and had had a pretty hectic spring, not least because I was packing up my life there and moving back home to Scotland.  Ahead of me lay another crazy summer working 14 hour days in a residential EFL (English as a Foreign Language) school.  I desperately needed to switch off for a while.  On a whim, I popped into a travel agent to see what they had on offer and the very next day I was flying across Europe on my way to Santorini. 

It was a wonderfully revitalizing week.  Other than a walk up a volcano and a swim from a boat out to an island with hot springs, I spent the entire week reading in the sun (nine books in seven days) and sampling Greek food and drink, all the while trying to reassure every Greek I met that being a solitary traveller was not a reason to pity me.  Bless.  🙂  

My most vivid memory of the trip was sitting in a small restaurant in Oia.  The sun was setting, I had a stray cat on my lap, a craft carafe of wine on my table and a full belly from all the souvlaki I had  eaten.  It was a moment of perfect tranquility.  And then came the invasion. 

Oia, with its cliff top location and west facing view of the Aegean, is known for its stunning sunsets and the locals seem to come out to watch them like Brits turn on Coronation Street.  When an elderly lady motioned towards an empty seat at my table, I nodded.  Of course, the old dear could sit with me.  Five minutes and fifteen “old dears” later, I was surrounded.  Through the Greek gossiping (I could just tell there was some scandal being discussed), the thick clouds of cigarette smoke and the ample, apron adorned bodies of the women I just manage to see the sun sink below a cloudless scarlet horizon. The waiter felt so sorry that my peaceful sunset moment had been spoilt by the gaggle of greek grannies that he waived my bill! 

It wasn’t really spoilt at all though.  It just added to the moment. 

Inspired by these memories of Santorini, I’m having a Greek BBQ for my aunt and uncle this weekend: souvlaki, greek salad, pita bread and tzatziki.            

Greek Salad  

Cucumber, cut into chunks

4 large tomatoes, deseeded and cut into large chunks

2 handfuls of black olives

100g feta cheese, cubed

1 tblspn chopped parsley

1 tblspn chopped marjoram or oregano 

For dressing:

2 tblspn olive oil

2 tblspn white wine vinegar

Salt and pepper 

  • Add all cucumber, tomatoes, feta and olives to a large bowl and combine gently using hands.
  • Mix dressing well and add to bowl.  Mix gently.
  • Sprinkle with fresh herbs.  

 

Souvlaki 

4 pork loin steaks, cut into chunks

1 onion, cut into chunks

2 green peppers, cut into chunks 

For the marinade:

Juice, pulp and zest of one lemon

1 tbpsn dried oregano

1 tbspn brown sugar or honey

100ml olive oil

Generous grinding of salt and pepper 

  • Mix the marinade ingredients well. 
  • Add the pork, onion and peppers and stir well to coat.  Marinade for at least one hour (preferably overnight).
  • Thread pork, onion and pepper onto skewers and BBQ over a medium heat (ie fairly high up) for 20 mins, turning frequently.  

These are my entries for the Blog or Bust event at The Clumsy Cook.

Will post the tzatziki recipe another time.

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28 thoughts on “Santorini Inspired Souvlaki

  1. I’ve only been to Athens, but I would love to go to any of the Greek islands! Someday. Your photos are just amazing and all this food looks fantastic.

  2. I’ve been to Santorini twice, and seen the Oia sunset, but couldn’t really understand what the fuss was about, as I much prefer the Nordic summer sunsets (didn’t you see some amazing ones in Finland?). I loved the island – and Greece in general – and the food, however 🙂

  3. Garret – Love outdoor Shakespeare. Have fun!

    Patricia – It’s a favourite of mine too. I like chunky food.

    Kalyn – Thank you! Feel I should repeat that the Santorini photo isn’t mine! The rest are though. 🙂

    Pille – Agree that the sunset wasn’t anymore amazing than our sunsets here in the north. Saw amazing ones in Finland, of course! The thing that made the Oia sunset special was where I was sitting. 🙂

  4. Thanks for putting me in a dream state this afternoon. It is a lovely summer day and I have some really nice new age soothing music playing in the background. Now I read about your trip and ahhhhh! I am ready to go!
    Back to your food. Wonderful! Now pair those great dishes up with a nice Spanish wine we have been talking about and you have one superb dinner!
    Cheers!

  5. That picture and your story makes me really, really farsick!
    I’ve never been to Greece and have wanted to go for years…. soon.
    What time did you say dinner is? It all looks wonderful!
    I love the honey/lemon marinade.

  6. Deb – Cheers to you too, Debs. Very happy I added to your weekend. 🙂

    Jen – Thank you so much!

    Katiez – I’d never heard the expression “farsick” before. Understand it completely though!
    The great thing about the honey in the marinade is that the meat caramelises, eventually turning a beautiful golden colour.

  7. Wendy, such a lovely post. I like to take breaks on the spur of the moment, but work & other commitments currently prevents me from being very spontaneous.

    Your meal fro your aunt & uncle sounds good. Do you like taramasalata? I love that stuff.

  8. love your stories of greece – I have never been there and would love to – but I think i would have a very sore and sunburnt back if I lay in the sun a week. And isn’t it wonderful how food can take you back to a place or time! Your salad looks so fresh and colourful.

  9. Nora B – Thank you! I’ve only had taramasalata once years ago and I wasn’t keen on it. It was an odd pink, for starters! My palate has changed though. Will try it again soon on your recommendation.

    Lucy – It was a marathon session! Some of them were trashy thrillers, easy to race through. Remember reading Paul Theroux’s “Hotel Honolulu” though. It’s still one of my favourites.

    Johanna – Thank you! I have typically Scottish skin so when I say “in the sun” I actually meant “under an umbrella”. 🙂

    Cynthia – It was lovely. Recommend a visit someday.

  10. LOVE this post (as was expected, right?) 🙂 Awww the stray cats and the chilled wine …. and that Greek salad looks just like the ones we ate there! I think I’ll make this this weekend. As always, thanks for drawing me in with your mouthwatering pictures and eloquent descriptions.

  11. Wendy – Thank you for visiting my blog and for leaving a message, leading me to your fabulous blog. I love pork and citrus, so you’re souvlaki is appeals to me. I must give this a go as I do not “do” enough with pork.

  12. Robin – Thank you! Look forward to reading the round up.

    Shaun – I don’t “do” enough pork either. Though I am partial to bacon… It was a pleasure to discover your blog too. 🙂

  13. Wendy I love this post. It brought me right back to the time I spent on Santorini one November. Oia was totally deserted, lots of stray cats and dogs, and an inexplicable crowd out of no where at sunset each night! Where did they come from? But it’s a stunning place isn’t it? Love these recipes.

  14. Tartlette – Thank you! And totally agree!

    Figs Olives and Wine – Thank you too! Have no idea where the crowds came from either. I just adored how the town sprawled down the cliff face.

  15. It’s really one of the most dramatic villages ever! I wrote a little something about it too – actually about a restaurant directly below it at the bottom of the cliff (Sunset Taverna maybe?)… did you go? If you feel like it, it’s the Grilled Squid & Ramp Salad post in my May archives.

  16. You have taken me back to Spring of last year. I spen 5 weeks in Greece. My first 4 days were on Santorini with my daughter. We had delicious pasta at a restaurant called Stromboli’s in Oia with a cat in my lap. I had my first Greek yogurt waiting for the traditional caique to take us out to Nea Kemeni and for a tour to Thirassia and a jump overboard to the hot springs. I enjoyed the memopries your post brought back…the food too of course. I can always remeber a place by the food I ate, the restaurants I visited. Keep posting!!!!!

  17. I am a regular reader of your blog and would just like to say thank you! I am due to start my own blog an would like to know how to go about doing so. I hear a lot about Blogger is this a good site to use? Thank you. Tanner Pouch

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