a greek feast

This is the type of meal we crave year round: pork souvlaki with tsatsiki sauce, and baklava triangles for dessert.  On a regular night, we just make the souvlaki and maybe have some hummus with veggies as a side.  Sometimes, though, it’s nice to have something sweet at the end of the meal, so occasionally I break out this baklava recipe for a treat.  It comes together in a snap, but there is some advance planning required, since the phyllo dough needs to thaw in the refrigerator overnight.  I also marinate the pork overnight, so I start thawing the phyllo at the same time.  (Please pardon my plastic dishes in the above shot!)


Adapted from Colorado Colore

Yields 3 to 4 servings


Pork and marinade

3/4 lb pork tenderloin
1/2 cup white wine
2 tablespoons olive oil
juice from one lemon
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon rosemary
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 lemon, cut into quarters

Everything else

2 whole pitas, cut in half
1 small tomato, chopped
1/4 cup red onion, minced
1/2 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped


  1. Cut pork into 1-inch cubes.
  2. Combine the remaining ingredients in a resealable plastic bag, place pork in the bag, and seal tightly.  Marinate in the refrigerator for 3 to 24 hours, turning occasionally.
  3. Grill pork on grill pan for about 8 to 10 minutes.
  4. In a small bowl, mix together cucumber, tomato, and red onion.
  5. Heat pita halves in microwave on high for 20 seconds, until pliable.  Open pita halves and spread some tsatsiki sauce on the sides (see recipe below), then fill with pork, cucumber/tomato/onion mixture, and add another dollop or two of tsatsiki on top.

Tsatsiki Sauce

Adapted from Gourmet, May 2008

Yields about 1 cup


1/2 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and shredded
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup Greek yogurt
salt and pepper


  1. Toss cucumber with 1/4 salt teaspoon each of salt and pepper in a colander and drain at least 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, mash garlic into a paste with 1/4 teaspoon salt.  Whisk garlic paste with olive oil, lemon juice, yogurt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
  3. Squeeze out excess water from cucumbers with your hands, then stir cucumber into the yogurt mixture.
  4. Season with salt, as needed.

Baklava Triangles

Yields 8 triangles


For the syrup:

1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup honey
5/8 cup water
1/4 lemon, lightly squeezed and placed in syrup mixture
1 clove, whole

For the filling:

1/2 cup walnuts
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

For the pastry:

4 sheets phyllo dough, thawed overnight in the refrigerator
3 tablespoons butter, melted


  1. Combine all syrup ingredients in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil and stir to dissolve the sugar.  Reduce heat and simmer until thickened, about 20 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.  Remove the lemon quarter and the clove.
  2. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  3. Very finely chop the walnuts.  Combine chopped walnuts with other filling ingredients.
  4. Brush one sheet of phyllo dough with melted butter and top with a second sheet.  Cut into 4 strips.  Sprinkle the bottom of each strip with about 1 tablespoon of the filling mixture and fold each strip into a triangle.
  5. Place triangles, seam side down, on a parchment lined sheet tray and brush the tops with melted butter.
  6. Top with a sprinkling of the nut filling and until golden brown and crisp, 20 to 30 minutes.
  7. Drizzle with the cooled syrup and serve.

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