I’ve spent a Euro, but never eaten a Gyro (Sandwich)… only important to neophytes like myself who recently learned that “Gyro” is pronounced “Euro.” When a reader’s request for a recipe for gluten-free, vegan Gyro, was quickly and enthusiastically seconded by Nate, we went to work. Plus we already had a big ol’ batch of Tzatziki in the refrigerator. The result is “Bella Gyro Sandwich.” I can’t wait to have another!
A lot of restaurants offer grilled or stuffed Portabella Mushrooms as a vegetarian alternative to steak. The texture and flavor notes make sense, but I’ve never enjoyed a successful preparation. Still the Bella mushroom came to mind as the leading ingredient in our vegan Gyro. Think you’re going to agree these babies work. Sweet Christine’s Flat Bread/Pizza Crust was OK, but delicious Bella Gyro deserves better. Below is a link to pita that looks good…. we’ll work on an alternative. In the meantime enjoy it on your favorite GF bread or in a lettuce wrap (healthier!)
Bella Gyro Sandwich - Serves 4
24 ounces “Baby Bella” mushrooms (3 packages), washed, stems trimmed
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 large cloves garlic
3 ounces pitted dates or prunes
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin seed
1 tablespoon dried oregano
3/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper, more or less to taste
FOR THE SANDWICHES
1 square Gyro
1 small head of lettuce, leaves washed and dried
4 slices of GF sandwich bread or pita
2-3 large ripe tomatos
1/2 red onion shaved
1 cup Tzatziki
1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Have ready an 8 x 8 inch baking pan.
2. Heat the olive oil over a medium heat in a large heavy frying pan. Add the onions and cook until they start to soften. Add the garlic, and cook until translucent.
3. Thinly slice the mushrooms into the onions (or have sliced them in advance and add all at once.) Stir to coat with olive oil and hot onions to help them begin to “sweat”. Cook until the moisture has completely evaporated and the mushrooms are shiny only from the oil. Set aside to cool slightly.
4. In the bowl of a food processor measure the dates and spices. Add half the mushroom mixture and pulse to blend. to the consistency of oats. Fold the (puree) back into the mushrooms in the pan.
5. Turn the mushroom mixture into an 8 x 8 baking pan and cook at 350 F for 50-60 minutes. Cool slightly before cutting into squares and preparing the sandwiches with lettuce, tomato, Tzatziki, and red onion.
Even the beef lovers will enjoy this sandwich!