How to Make Meat-Free Gyros with Greek Salad


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Barbecue season is well upon us, but for those who stick to a plant-based diet or are trying to cut back on meat often search for grill alternatives—that aren’t simply just veggie burgers. And for those who rely on plant-based meats—like Beyond Burger and meat-free sausages—there’s a new cookbook that’s likely to provide plenty of inspiration: “Impossible: The Cookbook.” For every purchase of the cookbook, which is only available on Amazon, $3 will be donated to No Kid Hungry.

Related Reading: The Impossible Sausage Is Now Available at 20,000 Restaurants

Helmed by the same team who designed the Impossible Burger, this cookbook not only aims to save the planet by limiting humans’ meat consumption, but also provides a slew of recipes, developed by a cohort of chefs, that repurpose plant-based meat. Many of the recipes are traditional meat dishes that have been transformed into vegetarian and plant-based versions, swapping beef for Impossible meat.

Flip through the pages to find meat-free versions of lomo saltado, a Peruvian dish tossed with spiced meat, french fries, peppers, and rice. Or you could opt for swapping your go-to burger with a recipe for chef Traci des Jardins’ Impossible burger—which was developed at her now-shuttered San Francisco restaurant Jardinière—a strapping contraption of cheese, lettuce, smashed avocados, and “beef,” all pressed together between two plush hamburger buns. 

Ahead, a summery recipe for gyros with Greek salad, tzatziki, and grilled pitas. The Impossible meat gets seasoned with oregano, dried marjoram, dried thyme, and garlic powder, then thrown on the grill and cooked just like a regular burger. The cooked patties are tossed on top of a Greek salad (rather than thinly sliced as traditional gyros often are), rife with cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, olives, and feta cheese, then drizzled with tzatziki sauce. Serve it alongside grilled pitas—either prepped for mopping up tzatziki or as a vehicle for the salad and beef, gyro style.

Gyros with Greek Salad, Tzatziki, and Grilled Pitas Recipe

Even though he’s Irish American, this is one of chef Douglas Keane’s favorite childhood comfort foods, because he grew up in Detroit, where gyros are a Greektown staple. “I still love a good old-style gyro,” he says, “but I have to say, I like this version even better. It’s moister and fresher tasting than the usual smashed, seared, and sliced gyro meat.” Rather than blending in seasonings, Douglas likes to treat all ground meat (including the kind made from plants) with a light hand. So he forms unseasoned patties and sprinkles them with the seasoning just before cooking.

Gyros with Greek Salad, Tzatziki, and Grilled Pitas

Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • Tzatziki Sauce: 1/2 cup (120 ml) whole-milk Greek yogurt or plant-based Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh dill
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp sugar
  • Greek Salad: 1 cup (170 g) cherry tomatoes, halved (quartered if large)
  • 1 cup (155g) finely diced cucumber (about 1/2 seeded cucumber)
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) thinly sliced pepperoncini
  • 2 Tbsp thinly sliced red onion
  • 2 Tbsp chopped pitted Kalamata olives
  • 3 Tbsp crumbled feta cheese or crumbled plant-based cheese
  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • Gyros: 12 oz (340 g) Impossible Burger
  • 4 tsp gyro seasoning, homemade (see note) or purchased
  • 4 pita breads
Instructions
  1. To make the tzatziki, add all of the ingredients to a small bowl and stir to blend. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve or up to 3 days.
  2. To make the Greek salad, in a medium bowl, combine the tomatoes, cucumber, pepperoncini, onion, olives, and feta. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, and salt. Pour the oil mixture over the salad and toss gently to coat. Set aside at room temperature.
  3. Preheat a grill for direct cooking over high heat (450ºF/230°C). Brush the grill grates clean. Divide the Impossible Burger into four equal portions and shape into oval-shaped patties 1/4 in (6 mm) thick. Season each side of the patties with 1/2 tsp gyro seasoning.
  4. Grill the Impossible Burger until browned and cooked through, turning once, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes per side. Using a metal spatula, transfer to a plate. Grill the pita breads just long enough to warm through, turning once, about 30 seconds. Transfer the pita breads to individual plates.
  5. To assemble, top each pita bread with one-fourth of the salad. Place a patty on top of each salad, then top with some of the tzatziki. Fold the pitas over and serve at once, with the remaining tzatziki alongside.
  6. Gyro Seasoning: In a small bowl, whisk together 3/4 tsp each dried oregano, dried marjoram, dried thyme, garlic powder, and 1 tsp kosher salt.

Header image by Aubrie Pick.



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