Sometimes with this heat all I want is a salad. It’s refreshing, light, and replenish you with mineral salts and vitamines you lose while sweating.
That said, when you eat salad many times a week, even with some variations, it becomes boring. That’s when a middle eastern dish comes into help, in the form of a Kebab, especially now that i finally have been able to buy flatbread.
They started to sell flatbread some years ago in Italy, but since I live in the countryside, everything comes later here.
Anyways, this is an adaptation of a middle eastern dish to my taste, so beware, it’s neither Italian nor Middle eastern. It’s another way I like to eat my salad, and has many advantages. Since I like my salad sliced, I can prepare a greater quantity of sliced fresh veggies and store them conveniently in the fridge for a few days, and use them for a kebab, a salad, or even a panino. And it’s very healthy. Since you can prepare it all with fresh, homemade ingredients (well, besides the red pepper paste maybe), you know EXACTLY what you put in it.
For the filling:
- Fine sliced tomatoes
- Fine sliced lettucce
- Fine sliced cabbage
- Fine sliced onions
- Grated carrots
- Any type of roasted meat, (or fish, YAY!!) thin sliced
For the sauce:
- 1/2 cup White plain yogurt (without sugar, and possibly thick)
- 4 leaves of mint [Optional, gives a fresh taste to the yogurt]
- garlic powder
- Red pepper and jalapeno (or tomato) paste.
Yogurt sauce: Let’s start with the yogurt sauce. It’s very easy to make, and requires some hours of resting to blend the flavors. Just fine chop 4 leaves on mint, and mix them with 1/2 cups of fresh plain white yogurt (the acidic one, without sugar), and a pinch of dried garlic. I usually don’t exagerate with garlic. Actually this will probably blow your mind, but Italians really do not use a lot of garlic at all, contrary to what most Americans think. We don’t want our breath to smell bad. Put the yogurt sauce back in the fridge, covered with some plastic wrap until you need it. I usually make it in the morning, or at least two hours before using it.
I assume you have already cleaned and thin sliced all your vegetables here. There’s not a big science in it, I like to use cercamic knives because they say this prevent the vegetables to become dark (I honestly don’t understand how they could ever prevent that since it’s a reaction with oxigen called oxidation, but whatever). For sure they keep sharpening much longer. Anyways, cut all the vegetables leaves in thin 1/4 inch slices then thin slice the cabbage, and the tomato.
For the tomato, cut it in two and remove all the inner seeds and liquid part before thin slicing it. There’s many reasons you want to do that, first of all you don’t want to soak your kebab. Second, my personal preference, I don’t like the seeds of the tomato.
Then, *very* thin slice the onion, like a veil. Leave the onion at the end, otherwise your knife will give taste of onion to all the other vegetables.
Put them back in the fridge until you need to make your kebab. They can stay for a few days without problems.
Compose your kebab:
Roast or warm up your meat of choice (or use some leftovers, it’s up to you, just be sure it’s in slices), in a frying pan with a tbsp of olive oil until hot. Cover with a lid.
Place some Aluminum foil under the flatbread, then add a generous (or not, depending from your tastes) amount of red pepper paste. It’s usually spicy, and I love it. Add a two tbsp of yogurt sauce and spread them all over the flatbread with a spoon. Try to leave the upper part of the disc as much clean as possible at first, to avoid the sauce to come out when you close it. While you’ll get more experienced with the wrapping process and the quantities, you’ll be able to put more sauce.
Add part of the vegetables, starting with some slices of onion, then some slices of tomatoes, on the lower second quarter of the flatbread disc. Then add the carrots, the lettucce slices and the cabbage. The onion, tomatoes and carrots will protect the lettucce from the heat of the panini press, and the cabbage from the heat of the meat.
Add a pinch of salt if you like, some Yogurt sauce, then the meat. Then repeat again the process on the inverse order, so the Yogurt, the cabbage the lettucce, the carrots, tomatoes and some other onion. Add another bit of yogurt sauce .
Remember not to exagerate with quantities, or you won’t be able to close the flatbread.
Close the flatbread by first gently wrap the left and right side to the inside of two inches, then place the lower side to almost the very end of the filling and start rolling, paying attemption that the left and right side stays in place. When the roll is ready, wrap it in the aluminum foil and close the angles.
Place it to roast 2 minutes in the panini press, and serve, still wrapped in the foil.
I totally love the fish variation of this, with smoked sliced salmon and some roasted shrimps. If you like fish you MUST try it, it’s awesome!
Make it! Let us know your kebab roll recipe.