I’ll be honest — gyros kind of freak me out. This coming from the girl who married into a Greek family. I love lamb, but that stuff you find spinning around on a metal skewer at fairs and festivals and hole-in-the-wall dive restaurants scares the heck out of me. Is it even lamb? I don’t want to know…
My husband assures me, though, that in Greece it’s real lamb. He has fond memories of, as a 12-year-old, visiting his grandparents in “the old country” and getting real gyros and souvlaki on the side of the road from an old woman selling them, her donkey beside her (I’m not even making this up, swear).
I’d like to think these gyro sandwiches are similar to that roadside stand. Real lamb, lots of oregano, a garlicky feta spread (because I like it better than the liquidy mess that tzatziki creates), cucumbers, tomatoes, onion and a pita. Instead of stuffing everything inside the pita, though, it gets pressed like a sandwich. It’s a hot-lunch American spin on a Greek classic.
Gyro-style sandwich with whipped feta recipe
Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 10 minutes | Total time: 20 minutes
For the gyro
- 1/2 pound boneless lamb chop or loin, sliced into thin strips
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large tomato, sliced
- 1/2 large cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced lengthwise
- 6 – 8 rings red onion
- 2 pitas
For the whipped feta
- 2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
- 1 ounce goat cheese
- 1 tablespoon cottage cheese (or ricotta)
- 1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- Salt and pepper
- Season the lamb strips with the oregano, salt and pepper.
- Into a small skillet over medium-high heat, pour the olive oil.
- Once the oil is hot, add the lamb, and cook for about 1 minute per side, until browned and cooked through. Set aside.
- Make the whipped feta by combining all the ingredients in a food processor and processing until smooth.
- Cut the pitas in half. Spread the whipped feta on 1 side of each pita half. Top with cucumber, tomato, red onion and lamb, and place the other half of the pita on top.
- Place the sandwich back into the skillet over medium heat, and gently press down with your hands. Cook for 1 – 2 minutes per side, until browned and crispy. Repeat with the other pita sandwich. Serve hot.