We’ve travelled to Italy, Spain and Greece, and even spoken to chef Jo Pratt herself. Now it’s time for our final recipe and the last instalment in our My Holiday Dish series, so we’re heading to Cyprus – both a beach holiday destination and cultural hotpot, for fresh and traditional dishes. In this article Jo Pratt shows you how simple and easy it is to make one of Cyprus’ well-renowned traditional dishes.
Cypriot souvlaki with tzatziki & pickles
Cypriot cuisine is fascinating as it brings taste influences from the nearby lands of Greece and Turkey, whilst adding depth and spice from parts of the world like Italy, France and the Middle East. Souvlaki is popular in Cyprus, and uses chunks of skewered meat, often served with fresh salad.
Star chef and food writer Jo Pratt creates this amazing recipe using tender pork, which is marinated in a selection of herbs, spices, lemon juice and olive oil. She elevates these fresh flavours by using pickled chillies when garnishing the dish, which gives it that extra kick. See how she does it here.
Ingredients (serves 4)
– Approx. 1kg pork shoulder or neck, diced into roughly 2.5cm pieces
– Juice of ½ lemon
– 2 tsp dried oregano
– 1 tsp dried paprika
– 2 Cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
– Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
– Cypriot olive oil
– Tzatziki (bought or see PS…)
– Flatbread/pitta bread
– 4 Tomatoes, cut into slim wedges
– 1 Red onion, finely sliced
– ½ Cucumber, finely sliced
– Handful of flat-leaf parsley leaves
– ½ Cabbage, finely sliced or
– 2 Grated courgettes
– Pickled chillies
– Lemon wedges
1. Put the meat into a bowl and mix with the lemon juice, oregano, paprika, garlic, salt, pepper and a glug of olive oil. Cover and leave in the fridge to marinade for at least 1 hour though you can leave it until the next day for the flavours to develop further.
2. When you are ready to cook, thread the meat onto metal skewers or wooden ones that have been soaked in water to prevent them from burning. Cook the skewers on a barbeque or under a pre-heated grill set to high for 8-10 minutes turning occasionally until deep golden and slightly charred. Set aside to rest while you heat the pittas by briefly putting on the barbeque or under the grill until just warm but not crisp.
3. To serve, put a big spoon of tzatziki onto the bread, some of the pork and then top with your choice of salad. Wrap and serve hot with pickled chilles and a wedge of lemon to squeeze over.
You will be spoilt for choice when it comes to buying great quality tzatziki in Cyprus, however it is really easy to have a go at making your own. Here’s what to do…
1. Peel half a cucumber and cut in half lengthways. Scoop out the seeds with a teaspoon and discard. Grate or finely chop the cucumber flesh and put in a sieve. Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt and leave to drain over a bowl for 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, place 200g Greek yoghurt, 1 small handful finely chopped dill or mint,
2. Put 1 clove crushed garlic, 1 tbsp Greek olive oil and 2 tsp red or white wine vinegar in a bowl. Using your hands, squeeze any excess water from the cucumber and add to the yoghurt bowl. Mix well, season with salt. Cover and chill until needed.
We’ve really enjoyed trying all of these recipes, if you’ve made any of them yourself remember to share them with us on Twitter using #MyHolidayDish and tag @JamesVillasUK to be in with a chance to win a copy of Jo Pratt’s cookbook, ‘In The Mood For Healthy Food’. Check out our competition for more details.
For more information on Jo Pratt, check out her interview here, and see the rest of our fantastic #MyHolidayDish episodes on our blog.