My thoughts on these Greek nachos are similar to one Ms. Kristin Chenoweth’s comments re: SYTYCD last season:
I mean, for reals. !!! My first statement to Josh while eating these nachos was, “I don’t know why people even eat Mexican nachos when you can have THESE!” Now, don’t get me wrong…I do love Mexican nachos. But these Greek nachos go to a whole ‘nother level. And you know what does it? The bite of the kalamata olive brine and the zing of the tzatziki. I can’t think of a close equivalent in Mexican nachos, except maybe green chile sauce (which I could drink with a straw, so maybe that explains my affinity for zesty, briny flavors?). Anyhoo, whether you love Mexican nachos or not, give this Greek version a try.
I used whole wheat pitas, which I thought were nice and nutty. They crisped up perfectly in the oven, in only about 10 minutes. The whole dish comes together amazingly well. The Greek salsa (which includes beets, YAY!) is super fresh-tasting, with a nice zing from some red wine vinegar. The tzatziki is cool, creamy, and garlicky, while the meat base is hearty and flavorful with cinnamon and oregano. My grocer did not have ground lamb, so I subbed in lean ground turkey. I bet these would be amazing with beef or pork too. I also opted not to mix the feta cheese in with the salsa; instead, I added it separately to the nachos in the assembly process.
This dish has a lot of separate components. Don’t worry. Don’t freak out. You can do them one after the other, and I found they all came together easily and quickly. Instead of my usual recipe format below, I’ve used a “Method” format to describe each component. I made them in the order listed below and I found the timing worked out really well.
1/2 cucumber, sliced in half and seeded (scoop the seeds out with a spoon; no need to peel)
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Extra virgin olive oil
Using a box grater, grate the seeded cucumber. Squeeze the grated cucumber in your hands, over a bowl or the sink, to get out as much moisture as you can. Trust me, a lot of liquid will come out! Place the squeezed cucumber in a medium bowl. Stir in the yogurt, garlic, vinegar, and lemon juice. Add salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle with some olive oil, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Cut the top and bottom off one beet. Scrub well under running water (no need to peel). Quarter the beet and place the chunks on a piece of aluminum foil. Twist the ends up to seal and roast in a 400F oven for around 30 minutes. Let cool and use as directed for Greek salsa.
Seasoned Turkey Base:
1 Tbs canola oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 Tbs tomato paste
1 lb lean ground turkey
2/3 cup water
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/8 tsp ground cloves
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and tomato paste and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add ground turkey and cook until well browned, stirring occasionally to scrape up browned bits. Stir in water and spices, bring to simmer, reduce heat to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes (or until the rest of your components are ready; add a little more water if it evaporates completely). Season with salt and pepper to taste.
1 Tbs red wine vinegar
1 Tbs lemon juice
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbs chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp dried dill weed
1 cucumber, diced (no need to peel or seed)
1 tomato, diced
10 kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
1/4 cup scallions, chopped
1 roasted beet, diced
In small bowl, whisk together vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, and oregano. Set aside. In medium bowl, combine garlic, parsley, dill, cucumber, tomato, olives, scallions, and beet and toss to combine. Toss lightly with dressing; set aside to let flavors mingle.
6 whole wheat pita breads
Oven to 425F. Cut the pita breads into 8 wedges each (no need to split the pita pocket in half). Places wedges in a bowl and drizzle with oil. Toss to coat, spread on a cookie sheet in a single layer, and bake for 10 minutes.
Garnish – 5 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
On a plate, place a layer of pita chips. Add a layer of seasoned meat and sprinkle on some feta cheese. Add a layer of Greek salsa, and top with a spoonful of tzatziki. Serve immediately.