Summer eating calls for food that gives maximum flavour for minimal effort and these garlic and oregano scented beef kebabs deliver just that. They are one of my go-to grilling suppers when I just don’t feel like burgers and make an excellent menu option for entertaining friends on warm June evening.
At a recent backyard barbecue, these recipes stole the spotlight: tender sirloin kebabs that had been marinated in garlic, cumin and loads of fresh oregano. The skewers were sandwiched between grilled pita bread that had been bathed in a pungent garlic-infused olive oil, and the whole thing dressed with fresh tomatoes and slathered with my homemade Tzatziki. I could eat this way all month long!
An assortment of fresh summer salads make the perfect accompaniments to your simple grilling party. Try Grilled Corn & Avocado Salad with Lime & Basil, Classic Greek Salad, or just a mound of marinated tomatoes with shredded basil and a crumbling of feta.
Fresh flavors, little fuss, eating with your hands – that’s what summer dining is all about. I hope you give these recipes a try.
Recipe: Cumin & Oregano Marinated Beef Kebabs
If any of you grow your own oregano, you’ll already be familiar with how it grows like a weed. Don’t be shy with this lovely herb for this recipe, but let the flavor shine through.
Recipe adapted from Gourmet Magazine.
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped oregano
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 2 pounds sirloin flap steak or flatiron steak, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
Equipment: 12 (12-inch) wooden skewers, soaked in water 30 minutes.
- Stir together olive oil, oregano, garlic, spices, and 1 teaspoon salt in a bowl, then toss with beef. Marinate, chilled, at least 2 hours.
- Prepare grill for direct-heat cooking over medium-hot charcoal (high heat for gas);
- Thread about 4 pieces of beef onto each skewer, leaving small spaces between pieces, then transfer to a tray.
- Oil grill rack, then grill beef, covered only if using a gas grill, turning, until browned but still pink inside, 4 to 5 minutes.
Serve with Garlic-Oregano Grilled Pita (recipe below), fresh Classic Greek Tzatziki and a summer salad.
Do Ahead: Beef can be marinated up to 8 hours
Garlic-Oregano Grilled Pita Bread
Adapted from Gourmet Magazine.
If you don’t quite have time for homemade pita bread, this alternative is a wonderful way to liven up store-bought pita.
- 3 tbs olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, smashes
- 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh oregano
- 2 pocketless pita bread rounds
- kosher salt to taste
For the Garlic-Oregano Oil:
- Heat oil in a small skillet over medium heat until it shimmers.
- Cook garlic for a few minutes, turning once or twice, until pale golden.
- Discard garlic and remove skillet from heat, then stir in oregano.
- Reserve until ready to use. This can be done an hour or so in advance.
To Grill Pita:
- Preheat grill to 400°F.
- Grill pitas, 3 or 4 at a time, turning once, until grill marks appear.
- Remove from grill and brush both sides with garlic-oregano oil.
- Sprinkle with kosher salt and tuck into a square of aluminum foil to keep warm while you grill the other pitas.
- Serve warm. Cut into wedges if desired.
June is definitely the month to get grilling! What are you cooking up?