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Mediterranean-Style Beef Skewers

Orzo Salad

Recipe, Courtesy of Patricia Bolger

“The Big Guy” and I like to search for recipes that have a variety of flavours from the Mediterranean. I found this recipe for Mediterranean-style beef Skewers in the Toronto Star Ricardo Recipe Section (date unknown). The unique ingredient in this beef marinade recipe is ground sumac which comes from a shrub that is grown on the high plateaus of Sicily, Turkey and Iran. The bright red berries of the sumac shrubs (not the same species as our Ontario sumac) are dried and ground into a dark red-burgundy colour that has the smell and taste of lemon without any sour taste. Ground sumac can be found in the Middle Eastern spice section of a large grocery store. Lemon zest with salt, black pepper and a dash of paprika can be substituted. There is also a spice blend called Za'atar that contains sumac. 

I like to pair the Mediterranean-style beef Skewers with this Orzo Salad that was shared with me from my friend, Miguel, who is an amazing cook and has more cookbooks than anyone else I know. Both “Miguel and The Big Guy” would recommend a crisp white wine to compliment this meal.  

Mediterranean-Style Beef Skewers

Soak 8-10 wooden skewers in water for at least 30 minutes.


Beef Marinade

1 ½ lbs steak, cut into cubes

½ tsp ground sumac (or 1 tsp lemon zest, salt, pepper and pinch of paprika)

½ tsp ground coriander

½ tsp salt

2 garlic cloves, chopped

2 Tbsp olive oil

Combine all ingredients in a covered bowl. Refrigerate for 8 hours.


3-4 bell peppers, a variety of red, yellow or orange cut in 1 ½” to 2” chunks

2 small zucchini, cut in medallions 1” thick

Cherry tomatoes (optional)

2 Tbsp olive oil

Salt and Pepper


Combine the vegetables in a bowl then drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Build each wooden skewer with beef cubes alternating with the colourful vegetables. Grill on high for 4-6 minutes each side or until the meat is done to your preference.

Serve with lemon wedges.  

Orzo Salad


1 cup orzo

1 ½ tsp salt

2 quarts water

Boil orzo for 6-8 minutes then drain.

Toss with 1 Tbsp olive oil. 

Cool for 15 minutes.


8-10 cherry tomatoes, halved

½ cup Feta cheese

2 Tbsp capers, rinsed

Plus 1 tsp of capers brine from the jar

Black olives (optional)

Fresh parsley


1 Tbsp lemon zest

2 Tbsp olive oil

¼ tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper 

Mix and serve. 

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