Grilled Eggplant Gyros with Fresh Tzatziki
No mystery meat here! Instead, you’ve got 100% real eggplant with charry grilled goodness as the star of this super flavorful, super saucy gyro for vegetarians—or part-time vegetarians! One of the secrets to its scrumptiousness is the homemade gyro seasoning.
1 large (1 1/4 pound) eggplant, cut into 12 rounds
3 tbls extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 recipe Jackie’s Greek Gyro Seasoning (see below)
1 1/3 cups plain fat-free Greek yogurt or vegan alternative
Juice of 1/2 small lemon (1 tablespoon)
1/4 tsp sea salt, or to taste
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup finely diced unpeeled English cucumber
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tbls finely chopped fresh mint
1 tsp finely chopped fresh dill
4 whole grain pocketless pitas, lightly grilled
2 Roma (plum) tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
Preheat a grill or grill pan. Very lightly brush both sides of the eggplant rounds with 1 tbls of the olive oil. Season one side of the eggplant rounds with the gyro seasoning. Grill eggplant (seasoned side up first) over direct medium-high heat until cooked through and rich grill marks form, about 5 to 6 minutes per side.
Meanwhile, make the tzatziki sauce by adding the yogurt, lemon juice, remaining 2 tbls olive oil, salt, and pepper to a medium bowl and whisk to thoroughly combine. (Hint: The thicker the yogurt, the better!) Add the cucumber, garlic, mint, and dill and stir to evenly combine. Adjust seasoning. (Makes 1 2/3 cups tzatziki)
Top each pita with about 3 tbls each tzatziki. Arrange the grilled eggplant on the pita. Top with tomatoes and onion and fold. Serve with remaining tzatziki on the side. If desired, garnish with fresh mint leaves.
JACKIE’S GREEK GYRO SEASONING:
Mix 3/4 tsp each sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, 1/2 tsp each garlic powder, onion powder, and dried oregano leaves, and 1/4 tsp each dried dill, crushed dried rosemary, and cayenne pepper. Makes 1 recipe (4 servings). Hint: Make in advance and store in sealed, labeled jar. To make a milder version of this seasoning, replace the 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper with 1/4 tsp black pepper.