Lola and Finn's Mum

Lola and Finn's Mum

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

A little ditty about food and falling in love, Greek style! Lamb Souvlaki with Red Pepper Sauce

When I was thinking about holiday memories and food I didn’t really have to think hard and when I asked Phill the question, he immediately confirmed what I knew was one of the best holiday experiences we have shared. Memories of love, of food, of Mediterranean light and waves softly lapping the shore.
Though we had been together for a couple of years, our holiday to Lindos on Rhodes in August 2005 was booked on a bit of whim and was, in effect, the first proper holiday we had shared together and the time to properly cement our relationship I suppose. Phill had vague memories of visiting Lindos a few years previously, a brief glimpse of something special from aboard a day boat but never really explored. For me, it has been somewhere I remembered in bits and pieces from a holiday to Rhodes some years earlier but had never been totally appreciated during a day of cocktails and checking out the local talent, but here we were now, kinda grown up, revisiting and discovering a place that was really amazingly special and which had an amazing power to excite the senses; The warmth of the sun on skin, the hustle and bustle through the winding maze like passages of the old town, the whitewashed Lindian houses against vivid bougainvillea and an infinitely blue sky.
St. Paul's Bay, Lindos
But the senses of taste and smell are the things I remember the most. In my practical head I had decided that we would get by on whatever we could pick up at the local markets and supermarkets  and have the odd meal out in the town from time to time, but a short walk into the old town from our Lindian house soon put paid to those plans as we felt immediately wrapped up in aromas of garlic and thyme and oregano that crept upon us from every nook and cranny. Confusingly, the sounds of laughter and the clatter of plates and glasses seemed to come from above, rather than the almost underground world around us and it was a peek up well worn, dimly lit staircases which revealed another world, a world where mixtures of voices mingled with irresistible smells and flickering votives beneath the mellow light of the illuminated coliseum.  Rooftop restaurants! Both Phill and I were hooked.
Over the time we were there, we ate out at a different rooftop every night, and not one meal disappointed. It might have been the heady mix of herbs and spices, the warm Mediterranean evenings briefly interrupted by a refreshing sea breeze, the chatter of happy voices, the sound of distant bouzouki that made the experience so memorable, but that would be being unkind to the undoubted deliciousness of the food. Having never really eaten Greek food before, I was hooked, and over the flickering candlelight I realised that I truly had fallen for my companion in one of the most beautiful places I had ever visited. And luckily he felt the same…

So, to remind me of one of the most wonderful holidays I have ever had, I made souvlaki, and whilst it wasn't quite the same as I remember, the fresh smell of herbs, garlic and lemon filled the kitchen and my senses once more.

Lamb Souvlaki with Red Pepper Sauce

Feeds Lola, Finn, Mum and Dad


4 tbsp olive oil
Juice of a lemon
1 tsp dried thyme
2 garlic cloves, chopped
freshly ground black pepper
1 3/4 lb boneless leg of lamb, cut into bite size pieces
8 - 12 bay leaves
Lemon wedges to serve

For the red pepper sauce:

Large jar of roasted peppers and their oil
six garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 red chilli, seeded and finely chopped (optional)
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
a pinch of sugar (optional)
a squeeze of lemon, to taste
herbs - mint, or oregano, or coriander, which I used.
Salt and pepper, to taste


Marinate the lamb by mixing together the oil, the thyme, the lemon, the garlic and the pepper together and placing the cubed lamb into it. Marinate in the fridge for as long as possible - a couple of hours, or if you can overnight.

If you are using wooden skewers, soak in water so that they don't burn whilst being griddled.

Put the peppers into a food processor with the garlic, chilli (if using), vinegar and herbs. Blitz and taste for seasoning. You may find that according to your palate the sauce might want some sweetness, so add a little sugar, some flavour, so season to taste, or a little vibrancy, so add lemon juice to taste.

Preheat the griddle, grill, frying pan, whatever you are using. I used my hot plate to griddle the lamb.

Thread the marinated meat onto skewers, with the bay leaves.

Place onto the grill and brush with any of the remaining marinade as they cook. Turn the skewers occasionally to ensure even cooking. Cooking should take about 10 minutes or so, by which time, the outside should be charred and the inside should be just pink and moist.

Meanwhile, warm through the pepper sauce to accompany the souvlakia.

Serve the skewers with a Greek salad, some rice if you like, and the lemon and red pepper sauce on the side.

I am linking this blog post to 'Holiday Postcards' at Travel Supermarket, which you can find here


1 comment:

  1. Lindos is one of my very very favourite places in the entire world. It's such a special village, and this post took me right back! Your souvlaki sounds and looks beautiful.



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