Greek Vegetarian Sandwich

IMG_0391

I confess that I don’t attend church nearly as often as I should. It’s silly since I always feel so much better afterwards. But I do try to attend our church’s annual food festival and volunteer my time in the kitchen or at the various food booths. During last week’s event, I chatted with friends of my in-laws, Mike and Roxanne Koston, and admired the vegetarian sandwiches that they were preparing for the hungry crowd. Mike and Roxanne are long-time deli owners and caterers who now spend their days enjoying grandchildren and cooking at the church. Their sandwich creation, so simple, yet so delicious, inspired me to compose my own.

The sandwich has everything that a classic Greek salad would have—feta, olives, cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions—all layered inside a soft French roll. Little touches like olive oil and tzatziki sauce take the sandwich up a notch and turn it into a great all-inclusive meal for lunch or dinner. This sandwich is a great reminder of how key ingredients of a country’s cuisine can be used differently, creating new serving ideas.

Could a classic tomato-cucumber horiatiki salad breakfast be possible? Definitely. One of my favorite breakfasts is an egg scramble with tomatoes and onions sautéed in fragrant olive oil, seasoned with fresh dill, and garnished with creamy feta. Where’s the cucumber? Sticking out of my bloody Mary, of course.

Greek Vegetarian Sandwich
If using prepared tzatziki sauce, drain it first by placing it in a fine strainer over a bowl, cover, and refrigerate for an hour or two.

1 cup Greek-style yogurt
1/4 cup grated seeded cucumber, removing excess liquid by squeezing with hand
1 garlic clove, pressed
1 tsp. finely chopped fresh dill
1 cup chopped pitted Kalamata olives

3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp. dried oregano

6 oz. block of feta cheese, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
1  large tomato, thinly sliced
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 small cucumber, peeled and sliced lengthwise
4 French rolls

1. Mix together yogurt, cucumber, garlic, and dill in a small bowl. Place tzatziki in a fine strainer and set over a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to assemble sandwich, preferably at least an hour ahead of time.

2. Combine olives, olive oil, and oregano in another bowl and set aside.

3. Gather feta, tomatoes, onion, cucumber, and rolls and assemble sandwiches, equally spreading tzatziki on one side of roll and the  olive-olive oil mixture on the other. Equally distribute feta, tomatoes, onion, and cucumber on top of bottom half and cover with top half.