Souvlaki Marinated with Ouzo for Your Next Cookout

Summer is the time to enjoy grilling outdoors and the fresh flavors of the season. Try the following recipes at your next cookout.


Pork Souvlaki Marinated with Ouzo

1/2 cup Greek extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup Greek honey

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon Greek dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried thyme

2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary

1/2 teaspoon Greek sea salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/4 cup ouzo

2 pounds pork tenderloin, cut into 1-1/2-inch cubes

2 large green peppers, cut into 1-1/2-inch pieces

24 cherry tomatoes

1 large red onion, cut into 1-1/2-inch pieces

Tzatziki, optional, recipe follows


In a bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, honey, garlic, oregano, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper. Pour 1/2 cup of the marinade into a shallow dish and stir in the ouzo. Add the pork and turn to coat in the marinade. Cover tightly and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight. Cover and refrigerate the remaining marinade as well.

Drain the pork, discarding the used marinade from the dish. On 12 metal or wooden skewers that have been soaked in water for 15-20 minutes, alternately thread the marinated pork and the peppers, tomatoes and onion. Grill uncovered over medium heat or broil 4 inches from heat until the pork is tender and the vegetables are crisp-tender about 15 minutes, turning occasionally and basting with the reserved marinade during the last 5 minutes of grilling. Serve with tzatziki, if preferred, and toasted pita.



1 large seedless cucumber, grated coarsely

Greek sea salt

2 cups Greek yogurt

4-6 garlic cloves to taste, minced

3 tablespoons Greek extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup chopped fresh dill


Place grated cucumber in a strainer over a bowl, sprinkle with a 1/4 teaspoon salt and let stand for 30 minutes to an hour to drain off the liquid. If preferred, place in cheesecloth and after an hour squeeze out any excess liquid. Place the cucumber in a mixing bowl with the yogurt, garlic, olive oil, lemon, and dill, and toss to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt, if needed. Cover tightly and chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes before serving.


Zucchini and Cabbage Salad

Cabbage salad. Photo by Some Tale, via Unsplash

3 large zucchini (about 2 pounds, total), coarsely shredded

1 teaspoon Greek sea salt, divided

1/4 cup chopped fresh dill, plus more for serving

1 cup Greek yogurt

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons Greek honey

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 clove garlic, minced

4 cups shredded cabbage

1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds


Place the zucchini in a strainer lined with a clean dish towel. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and stir to combine. Wrap towel around zucchini and press gently. Set aside for the zucchini to drain for 15- 20 minutes, then squeeze out the excess moisture.
In a large bowl, stir together the dill, yogurt, lemon juice, honey, pepper, garlic, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add the zucchini and cabbage to the yogurt mixture and stir to combine. Top with toasted pumpkin seeds and additional dill. Serve immediately.


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