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
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.