Growing up in a Greek home meant lots of soccer matches down at the local Greek club. For bigger matches, souvlakia (that’s the plural in Greek) were for sale. The same kinds of souvlakia were always available at the annual Greek Orthodox church celebrations too. You’d line up with a ticket, get your souvlaki in a paper napkin then stand around with family and stuff yourself.
In November, the Greek church near my parents held their annual feast day so Mum and I got to talking about how to veganise the souvlakia and I knew I’d have to use roasted jackfruit. The marinade was easy enough: olive oil, garlic, dried oregano. Some people liked to add a little lemon juice to the marinade but it was mostly without. The onion relish though was where the bite came from, just a simple mix of chopped onions and fresh flat leaf parsley all stuffed in to a long bread roll.
By now I’m sure you all know about the many uses of jackfruit in dishes such as vegan pulled pork. It certainly is great for that purpose but because my early experiments with jackfruit involved roasting,I wanted to stick to that for this recipe, because CRISPY BITS.
Although jackfruit isn’t something I’m over the moon about, it’s fun to experiment with. I’m playing around with a jackfruit-beef Bourguignon (just need to find the right red wine!). Fun times! Let’s just hope I can continue to find a steady supply of canned jackfruit in brine.
This jackfruit souvlaki doesn’t claim to taste exactly like that you’d find at your Greek soccer club or church celebration, but the flavours are there. For me, veganising my family’s recipes, or recipes from childhood means I try to keep the flavours and ingredients as close to the original as possible, no matter how simple the dish (like this one). I had a nice trip down memory lane, and onion breath for hours. Just like old times. Opa!