Middle Eastern Lamb Skewers

 From Reinventing the Classics, by Food & Wine

 To update classic Middle Eastern kebabs, chef Michael Solomonov of Zahav in Philadelphia adds onion juice or pureed onions to the marinade. The marinade is terrific on chicken breasts as well as lamb.


Photo: Food & Wine/Quentin Bacon



1 medium onion, quartered

1 garlic clove, peeled

4 flat-leaf parsley sprigs

½ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon ground allspice

1 tablespoon kosher salt

Pinch of saffron threads

1 ¼ pounds trimmed lamb loin, cut into 1-inch cubes

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Warm pita and plain Greek yogurt, for serving


4 servings • Total: 30 minutes plus 6 hours marinating


1.     In a blender, combine the onion, garlic, parsley sprigs, lemon zest, lemon juice, allspice, salt and saffron and puree until smooth. Transfer the marinade to a resealable plastic bag, add the cubed lamb and turn to coat. Seal the bag, pressing out any air. Refrigerate the lamb for at least 6 hours or preferably overnight.

2.     Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Drain the lamb, shaking off the excess marinade. Thread the lamb onto 4 long skewers, leaving a bit of room between the cubes. Brush the lamb with the oil and grill over high heat, turning occasionally, until lightly charred, about 5 minutes for medium-rare meat. Serve the lamb skewers with warm pita and Greek yogurt.

* Subtly spicy Pinot Noirs, like those from California’s Sonoma Coast, are a nice match with fragrant lamb skewers. Consider the 2007 Fogdog Pinot Noir from Freestone Vineyards or the 2007 Cep Vineyards Estate.


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