Greek Peperoncini Beef Lettuce Wraps with Cucumber Salad

I’ve always been fascinated with Greece—the whitewashed buildings, the deep blue water, the history, and the bright, briny Mediterranean flavors.
My college degree had a travel and tourism emphasis, and for one of my class projects, I planned a weeklong, painfully detailed (yet, budget-less) dream trip to Greece. In truth, if I were to go to Greece, I think I would spend most of the time eating or sitting on the beach. That wouldn’t have flown with my professor, so I added some cultural and outdoor destinations to my itinerary. While I’m saving up for my dream trip, I can make Greek-inspired food at home, starting with these lettuce wraps.

Prep time 40 minutes, plus overnight marinating
Serves 6

For the lettuce wraps:

3- to 4-pound (1.4 to 1.8 kg) beef roast (bone-in or boneless)
11/2 teaspoons sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried minced onion
1/2 teaspoon dried mint
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
2 tablespoons (29 ml) avocado oil
1/2 cup (68 g) sliced Greek peperoncini peppers
2 to 3 heads baby Romaine or butter lettuce, leaves separated
Chopped kalamata olives, for serving (optional)

For the salad:

1 English cucumber, quartered lengthwise and chopped
2 medium Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
8 to 10 narrow strips of thinly sliced red onion
1/4 cup (60 ml) lemon juice (about 1 large lemon)
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

1 Trim the roast of any unwanted fat and place on a large plate. Rub the salt and pepper into the meat on all sides.
2 In a small bowl, combine the rest of the roast ingredients (except the peperoncini peppers, lettuce, and olives) to make a paste. Rub the paste over the entire roast, then cover it with plastic wrap and let it marinate, chilled, for 8 to 24 hours.
3 Place the roast in a 4- or 6-quart (3.8 or 5.7 liter) slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 9 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours. The beef should be tender and pull apart easily with a fork.
4 When the roast is nearly finished, prep the salad by combining the cucumber, tomatoes, and onion in a medium bowl. Whisk the remaining salad ingredients together in a measuring cup and pour over the salad. Toss everything together to coat well. Taste, and add more salt if needed. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
5 When the beef is finished cooking, it should pull apart easily with a fork. Transfer the roast to a large plate or platter and shred it into bite-sized pieces. Return the meat to the slow cooker with the peperoncini peppers and toss it around with a pair of tongs so that the beef and peperoncini are combined and everything is coated with the cooking juices.
6 Assemble the wraps by placing a small amount of beef inside a lettuce leaf, top it with a spoonful or two of the salad, and sprinkle with kalamata olives.