I am not sure if in traditional Lebanese culture these are an actual thing. There is a little Poppa and son Shwarma shop that we always go to, and a while back when we ordered the Father noticed I wasn't getting mine. I explained to him that I no longer at meat, so I would have to pass. That was when he set to work to create a vegan shwarma for me. He filled it with roasted cauliflower, eggplant, pickles, tomatoes, lettuce, turnips, and garlic sauce. It was so yummy, and I was hooked! So of course I figured there has to be a way for me to make this at home. And I did, and it was a hit,,,,, and once again the wrapped up goodness was gone before I could get a picture!
Here's what I did.
Roasted Cauliflower and Eggplant
I large head of cauliflower, broken into florets
1 or 2 eggplants slices into disks
1/2 c olive oil
1 large lemon, zested & juiced
1 T ground cumin
1 T onion powder
1 t paprika
1 t hot pepper flakes
1 t garlic powder
1 large pinch kosher salt good grind fresh black pepper
Preheat oven to 425F.
In a large bowl, combine the cauliflower, eggplant olive oil, lemon juice and zest, and spices. Toss so that everything gets evenly combined. Dump onto a cookie sheet prepped with a parchment paper and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 30 minutes, flipping over at the 15 minute mark. When everything is golden brown and crispy. I had prepared everything in the morning, then set the oven to turn on and roast everything so it was ready for when everyone was home for dinner.
5 cloves of garlic
Juice of 1 lemon
A pinch of salt
1 c of iced water of which you will use around 2 tbsp
1 c of neutral oil
Put the garlic cloves along with salt and 1/4 of the lemon juice in the blender
Blend on medium and scrape the sides down
Add half the oil a little bit at a time
At this stage, the emulsification should have taken place. If it hasn’t and the sauce looks like it has split, then something has gone wrong. You may need to remove half the amount, whizz again and re-pour what had already split. But if you take it slow without pouring the oil too quickly, it should be fine
Switch to a slow blend, and add the rest of the lemon juice in slowly too
Add 1 or 2 tbsp of water. The mixture should become thick and fluffy. I made my in the morning and let it sit in the fridge all day, yummy!
Spinach (or your favorite lettuce)
The best part of all this is getting the family together to assemble these in your giant whole wheat pitas! Top them anyway you like, just make sure to start with garlicky sauce, lots of roasted veg, and to me, pickles are a must!