Prawn Souvlaki With Ladoloemono Recipe

Last week I was lucky enough to attend a cooking class with Maria Benardis, owner of Greek cooking school
Greekalicious. Maria runs classes in Sydney and Melbourne as well as hosting culinary tours of Greece, while her beautiful cookbook My Greek Family Table won Best Mediterranean cook book at the 2009 Gourmand World Cook Book Awards.

As a foodie I’ve been to a few cooking classes in my time but I can honestly say this was one of the best I’ve ever been to. The 3 hour class is a mixture of demonstration and hands-on making 3-4 dishes, followed by a sit-down lunch with wine. Maria is the most passionate and warm cooking instructor, with a philosophy of ‘eco, not ego’, meaning she supports seasonal ingredients, traditional recipes and cooking from the heart and not the stressful, competitive nature of cooking that we see in celebrity chefs and cooking shows on TV. She guided us through summer dishes from the Cyclades islands of Greece, including tomato feta pies from Santorini and prawn saganaki, patiently explaining the regionality and principals of Greek cooking and showed us that it is so much more than just moussaka and souvlaki.

I’ll be sharing some of these principals of Greek cooking next week as it is a really healthy way of eating. Take a look at Maria’s upcoming cooking classes held throughout 2011 in Sydney and Melbourne which make a great gift for someone special (or yourself).

Prawn Souvlaki with Ladoloemono

When ancient Greeks sacrificed animals to the Gods the ritual was done with a sword. The sacrificial meat would then be placed on the sword for the ceremony and the meat would be offered for consumption from the sword after it had been cooked. The word souvlaki has originated from this ancient ritual. The Greek word for skewer is “souvla”, and this also means sword. When you consume a souvlaki it means to “eat a little sword”.

Ladolemono essentially means oil and lemon. It is one of the most popular marinades in Greece. In this recipe I have provided the traditional ladolemono recipe.

You can also alternate your herbs by substituting oregano for thyme or rosemary. I often add chopped fresh chilies and minced garlic to add some heat.

For the Ladolemono:

¼ cup extra virgin Greek olive oil

1 fresh lemon juice

A generous pinch of dried wild oregano

Salt and pepper to taste

Place all the ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Seal and shake until well blended.

For Souvlaki:

16 small skewers

16 uncooked king prawns

Garnish: 1 tablespoon chopped continental parsley or coriander


Place the souvlaki skewers in some water so they can soak for at least 2 hours. This will ensure they do not burn when the souvlakia are cooked.

Devein and remove the shell from the prawns. Pass each prawn through a skewer.

Heat and oiled grilling tray or a BBQ and wipe the plates with some olive oil.

Brush each prawn on both sides with some of the ladolemono dressing and place on the grilling plate or BBQ. Cook for approximately 1 minute on each side until the prawns turn pink.

Place them on a serving platter and brush them with a little more dressing. Remember to shake the dressing occasionally so that all the ingredients are well blended.

Garnish with the parsley or coriander.

© 2010 Maria Benardis. All Rights Reserved.

What is your favourite Greek dish? Have you been to Greece?