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I had never heard of schwarma, let alone tasted it, until my freshman year of college.
Actually, it was the weekend before college began, and I had attended church with the roommate of a friend since this friend was out of town at a conference. After sitting through a rather lengthy, awkward service with a dude who I had just met and a ton of other strangers, which was a bit much for shy 18-year-old Erin, my new friend and I were invited to have lunch with some other members and a girl who I actually had met the summer before while working at a camp.
We went to a Lebanese restaurant… and I was completely overwhelmed looking at the menu, so I chose the first thing that sounded like it wouldn’t be too over-the-top to my untested tastebuds — Chicken Schwarma.
Needless to say, I fell in love with the dish that day, and throughout my college career, I ate my fill of schwarma.
Then I left South Louisiana and discovered schwarma is rather challenging to find. So challenging, in fact, that when we were living in Nashville, my husband got fed up about our lack of schwarma and decided to make our own.
While it’s not the same as the restaurant-made schwarma, it’s pretty darn good. And if I ever get a spit (A SPIT!), it will be even more out-of-control delicious… though I doubt my husband will let me set it up in the lawn and roast whole animals on it. (My Big Fat Greek Wedding reference… Bueller?)
Here is our recipe for Chicken Schwarma:
Chicken Shawarma Salad
- 6 cups fresh spinach
- 1 cup English cucumber
- 1/2 cup red onion
- 6 tablespoons feta cheese
- Grilled Chicken Shawarma , chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon grainy dijon mustard
Prepare the dressing
- In a larger mason jar, measure in the dry ingredients: garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, dried basil, red pepper flakes, black pepper and salt. Shake until combined.
- Pour in the olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice and dijon mustard.
- Cap with the mason jar top, and shake until well-combined.
- Set aside for future use. (And refrigerate if making in advance.)
Prepare the salad
- Once the Grilled Chicken Shawarma has cooked and cooled, chop into bite-sized pieces.
- In a large bowl, combine the spinach, cucumber, red onion and feta.
- Pour half of the dressing onto the salad greens, tossing until combined. Add more dressing if desired.
- Top with the Grilled Chicken Shawarma, add a little bit of Tzatziki sauce if desired and enjoy immediately!
It is SO. Good.