Wednesday, March 30, 2005


Grilled Lamb Salad

Oh joy! Last night, under a star filled sky (ok, that’s a lie, you can’t really see stars in Los Angeles) I lit up my much loved grill and had my first cookout of the year. It was a triumph of delicious foods and superior company. From the moment the flame hit the lump charcoal (that I had some left from last year and it wasn’t completely soggy is a testament to something, I’m just not sure what) and the blue curl of smoke lifted onto the evening breeze, I was in heaven. The inspiration for this meal, came from a motley assortment of middle eastern ingredients I had lurking in my larder, plus some gorgeous honey-dates I bought at the Farmers Market (where I will be demonstrating next Sunday! Please come down!) last week and really wanted to find the perfect way to showcase them. I had also read the other day that lamb (defined as the meat of sheep less than 12 months old) is the least popular red meat in North America (which makes me wonder, does that list include rabbit or “cheval?”) which of course fired me up to buy some. I trooped down to the market and there is was behind the glass, so rosy and pink and inexpensive and I love it so much, I ended up buying quite a bit, so don’t be surprised if there is another lamb recipe tomorrow…besides, what says springtime more than lamb? So with nothing more than a few staple ingredients and a will to grill, I concocted this recipe and must say, it was pretty durned tasty. Try it and enjoy!

2 pounds boneless leg of lamb, cut into 10 –12 strips
Zest of 1 orange
¼ cup olive oil
Black pepper
6 cloves garlic, minced
4 Tbsp za’atar

3 oranges, segemented (pits removed) and diced
½ cup dates, halved, pits removed
2 large heads butterleaf lettuce, leaves torn
1 small red onion, sliced thin

2 Tablespoons olive oil
½ cup non-fat yogurt or sour cream
2 Tbsp orange juice
1 teaspoon honey
1 Tbsp thyme, chopped
½ teaspoon white vinegar

In a shallow baking dish or a Ziploc plastic bag, combine the orange zest, olive oil, pepper, garlic and za’atar. Add the lamb and massage in the marinade. Marinate, covered in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours or leave overnight.

Prepare your grill. Lightly oil the grates with some olive oil.

Remove the lamb from the marinade. Cook over a moderately high heat for about 5-7 minutes, turning occasionally until well browned. Set aside on a plate to rest while making the salad.

In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, yogurt, orange juice, vinegar, honey, thyme and salt. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Set aside.

In a large bowl gently toss together the orange segments, dates, lettuce and red onion. Season well with salt and pepper.

Serve the lamb strips over the salad on individual plates, or on a large platter, drizzle the dressing over it all.


GRILLING is the method of cooking whereby the meat is cooked over direct, intense flame, usually 500 degrees F or higher.

BARBEQUE meats are cooked slowly with indirect heat in an enclosed cooker which allows the moist smoke to penetrate the meat. BBQ temperatures range from about 170 to 250 degrees F


I tried your recipe today and it was yummy. thanx 4 such a good idea. i never new what 2 do w/that spice before. delish!
Im so glad to hear that! Thanks!
I woudl love to try such a great recipe.
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