If you are not familiar with the Greek sandwich called a gyro (pronounced YEER-oh), it is meat, usually lamb and/or beef, that is cooked on a vertical spit then the meat is shaved off and served on warm pita bread with onion, tomatoes, and a yummy yogurt sauce called tzatziki. There are, of course, many versions of gyros but the one I described above seems to be pretty common here in the U.S.
The first one I remember ever having was from a food truck at the Park Point rummage sales as a kid. Hmm… just like the egg salad from last week, Park Point holds another food memory for me…. I remember that first intoxicating bite like it was yesterday. I’d never in my life had anything that tasted like that. The sweet, garlicky, creamy sauce mixed with the warm pita bread and cold tomatoes and freshly carved meat with a unique yet familiar flavor (which I learned later in life was cinnamon being used in a savory form) made my mouth feel like it was dancing.
Since then, I’ve had gyros pretty much anywhere I’ve been able to get them. Even the ones that were mediocre still made me happy. I even tried some horrid boxed version when I was in my 20’s that you could make at home. They were okay at best but still satisfied that occasional craving I get for gyros.
Now that I am older and wiser about food, I realized that I could make these at home fairly easily. Minus cooking the meat on a vertical spit. But… even better… I realized I could combine yet one more thing with my love for pizza. A gyro pizza is certainly something I’ve never heard of before. Gyro nachos, yes. In fact, Cassie’s post about her gyro nachos is what got me started on thinking about this gyro pizza. I also made her Ten Minute Tzatziki as is. All I did was double it to get enough for 2 pizzas.
I normally prefer a thin crust on my pizza so when I make my pizza crust, I typically split a single batch in half for 2 pizzas. This pizza did better with a thicker, more substantial crust since it’s supposed to mimic the pita bread of a gyro.
I actually made 2 pizzas even though I’m going to give you the directions below for just 1. This has worked out really well for lunches this week at work. Because the crust is fully baked before being topped with the tzatziki sauce and because it is nice and thick, it held up really well in the refrigerator. And yes, I ate it cold. 🙂
- 1 recipe of Ten Minute Tzatziki (see recipe below)
- 1 batch Quick Pizza Crust
- 1 Tbsp Greek seasoning (see recipe below)
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- ¼ c water
- 2 oz crumbled feta cheese
- 2 c shredded lettuce
- 1 tomato, chopped
- Optional: chopped onion, sliced olives
- Preheat oven to 450°.
- Make the tzatziki sauce and refrigerate until ready for use.
- Mix the yeast, sugar, and water for the dough.
- While the yeast is blooming, make the Greek seasoning and set aside. Spray a large 15"x10" baking sheet with nonstick spray and sprinkle with cornmeal. Set aside.
- Add the flour, salt and olive to the yeast mixture to form your dough and let rest for about 10 minutes.
- Just before you start to form your crust, heat a large nonstick pan over med-high heat.
- Press the dough evenly in the prepared baking sheet and poke holes all over it with a fork to prevent air pockets while the crust cooks. Place it in the oven and bake 15-22 minutes or until golden brown.
- After placing the crust in the oven, add your ground beef to the skillet and cook, stirring, until no pink remains and the meat is crumbled. Drain off any grease. Add 1 Tbsp of the Greek seasoning and water. Mix well and let simmer until the liquid has evaporated. If it has finished cooking before the crust is done, just remove it from the heat and set aside.
- Remove the crust from the oven and let it cool slightly. I use this time to shred my lettuce and chop the tomato.
- To build the pizza, spread the tzatziki sauce evenly over the warm crust. Top with the cooked meat, crumbled feta, lettuce and tomato.
- Cut into pieces and serve.
- ½ large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced small
- 1 c plain Greek yogurt
- 1 Tbsp minced jarred garlic
- 1 Tbsp dried dill
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- In a small bowl, mix all of the ingredients well.
- Cover and refrigerate at least 10 minutes before serving.
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp dried basil
- ¼ tsp dried oregano
- ¼ tsp onion powder
- ¼ tsp dried dill
- ¼ tsp dried marjoram
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ¼ tsp dried parsley
- ¼ tsp dried rosemary, crushed
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- ⅛ tsp dried thyme
- ⅛ tsp nutmeg
- Mix well in a small bowl.