The first time I prepared a dish for a large crowd was for an event called “Taste of Greece,” a fun, food fundraiser for our Greek Orthodox Church in Salt Lake City, Utah. Nearly 500 attendees come to sample common Greek fare all made by home cooks. They often find food items not typically found at a restaurant or on a dinner table. My dad, an experimental cook who owns every Greek cookbook imaginable—twice over—always shows up with unusual dishes that people have never tried. When I was 16 and only knew how to pour the perfect amount of milk in my cereal and how to butter toast, my dad tasked me to make something simple but different—pastourma rollups. They’ve been a hit at Taste of Greece ever since.
Pastourma is a cured meat made from different cuts of beef (in some cultures it’s said to be made from camel meat) and is seasoned with the distinctive fenugreek spice. Basically unknown in western culture, fenugreek has been used for centuries as a healing plant and a spice in middle east and far east countries. Though it can be hard to find pastourma in grocery stores, it can usually be found in Mediterranean markets. If you can’t manage to get your hands on pastourma, prosciutto or bresaola would be the next best options for this recipe. The rollups call for just three ingredients: a slice of kasseri or your favorite mild Greek cheese and a sliver of red bell pepper all wrapped in a thin piece of pastourma. The trio combines for a small bite with a little crunch and loads of flavor. It’s a perfect grab and go appetizer for any occasion.
- 1 lb pastourma, thinly sliced*
- 2 red bell peppers, seeds removed and thinly sliced
- 1 lb kasseri cheese, cut into long 2 inch pieces
- At one edge of a pastourma slice, top with one slice of a bell pepper and kasseri cheese. Roll up tightly.
- Repeat until all the pastourma is gone. Secure with a toothpick if needed, or leave plain.