The history of the Gyro (pronounced YEE-ro, despite many pronunciation disputes) is a surprisingly short history compared to what one might think. With originating roots in Greece as early as the 1920’s ( “gyro” means “to spin” in greek), this dish made its way to New York City in the 1970’s and developed into what we are most familiar with in the present day; a fluffy flatbread that wraps around roasted meat.
Today, Gyros can easily be found at restaurants and food carts. However, the age-old argument of where the very first gyro appeared here in the U.S. still remains a mystery. For instance, Parkview Restaurant, located in one of today's most bustling Greek communities of Chicago, believes they were, in fact, the first to bring the dish to the west in the 70’s.
Regardless of where an American had their very first bite of this popular Greek dish, the appeal of the gyro is all the same; the combination of a fluffy, cakey flat bread with a perfectly roasted meat make this dish simple, delicious and versatile. Traditionally, a gyro might include beef or lamb, creamy sauce and fresh tomato. Naturally, countless variations of the gyro have developed over the last 50 years, from adding hummus to your gyro, to differing gyro salads, and even pre-packaged gyro meat available at Costco. The preferences of recipes and pronunciation of a gyro sandwich are endless - and at Wild For Salmon/Pride of Bristol Bay, we are no stranger to jumping into recipe trends to give our own versions a go!
In-House Chef Nicole has created her own incredible Gyro recipe that balances the traditional gyro dressing with our own meat of choice: grilled sockeye salmon, of course! Below are a few Chef’s Notes from Nicole to help make your experience cooking this recipe both fun and rewarding. Enjoy!
Notes From Chef Nicole:
Gyros are simple and could be done ahead of time. I suggest making the tzatziki sauce the night before, and the tomato salad first thing the day-of so it can sit and marinate while you prepare the salmon marinade & the grilling process. That way, once the salmon has been cooked, all you have to do is assemble your gyro. The best part of this easy meal is that it makes awesome leftovers for lunch the next day!
- Wild for Salmon Sockeye Fillet
- Red Wine vinegar
- 2 Lemons
- 1 bulb of garlic
- Olive oil
- Grape tomatoes
- Red Onion
- Pita Bread (or “flatbread”)
- Greek Yogurt
- Feta Cheese (optional)
- Salt and Pepper
Preparing the tzatziki sauce:
Recommended to make the night before. Combine all the ingredients and mix well.
- ½ cup finely grated cucumber
- 1 cup greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoon dill
- 2 tablespoon mint
- 2 teaspoon of garlic, mico grated
Preparing the tomato salad:
Recommended to make first thing day-of, before preparing the sockeye salmon marinade.
- 3 cup grape tomatoes
- ¼ cup red onion
- 1 zest of a lemon
- 1 teaspoon of garlic, micro grated
- 2 tablespoons of lemon juice (1/2 a lemon)
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Cut tomatoes into quarters
- Dice red onion into small pieces
- In a medium size bowl, combine tomatoes and red onion
- Using micro grater, zest one lemon into the bowl; do the same for the garlic if not already grated
- Add fresh squeezed lemon juice, red wine vinegar, oregano, garlic
- Mix together
Preparing the sockeye salmon marinade:
- 1 wild Alaskan salmon fillet, or 4 portions
- 2 teaspoons of garlic, micro grated
- 1 zest of a lemon
- 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- ¾ cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon of oregano
- Place Sockeye Salmon on a baking dish
- In a bowl add red wine vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, oregano, micro grate garlic and lemon zest
- Mix together and pour on top of Wild for Salmon sockeye salmon
- Let it marinate for 30 minutes
- While the salmon is in marinate, preheat grill
Grilling the sockeye salmon:
- Grill should be at medium high heat, around 350-400 degrees
- Oil the grill grates to prevent salmon from sticking
- Place the salmon skin side down and cook (12-15 minutes for a fillet, 5-8 minutes for portions)
- When the salmon is cooked, take off the grill and set aside, keeping it warm
- Warm up flatbreads
- Assemble the gyro; on a warm flatbread, add grilled sockeye salmon, tzatziki sauce, tomato salad and feta
- Fold the side and ENJOY!
Nicole is a Recipe Developer and Food Photographer from Allentown, Pennsylvania with an Associate degree from The Culinary Institute of America. Her first memories are of planting seeds with her father and grandfather in their elaborate gardens and sharing their abundant harvests with friends and neighbors. The spark of both pride and joy she felt when sharing this food with others and seeing the happiness it brought them was what inspired her to pursue the culinary arts from a young age. Nicole has spent time exploring the Hudson Valley and Philadelphia food scenes, but her current home in the rolling hills of Central PA is where she most enjoys combining her two passions; exploring the outdoors, and good food.