Lamb and Veggie Kebabs with an adventurous marinade consisting of onions, garlic, and trio of warm spices give the skewers a bold Middle Eastern flavor that is bound to grab your attention.
When marinating lamb, no need to be shy with flavors that will compliment its rich and assertive flavor. But it is equally important to use a marinade that will also help tenderize the meat while imparting character. This is especially true if you are using lamb shoulder or boneless leg of lamb as opposed to lamb loin fillet, which is more tender.
To make the marinade, combine onion, garlic, spices, fresh parsley, olive oil and lemon juice and zest in a food processor. Blitz until everything is well-incorporated and you have a thick onion mixture.
Because the veggies and meat require varying cooking times, I divide them into 3 categories—and 3 ziploc bags. First the meat cubes, then the tomatoes and mushroom caps, and finally the red onion and bell pepper pieces which take the longest to cook. Refrigerate all three bags for up to 2 hours. As the grill heats, thread metal skewers with the bag contents.
We served our skewers over a bed of tri-colored couscous, but if your counting carbs, gluten-free, or following a keto-friendly diet, you may want to skip it. Add lemon wedges for serving.
recipe title=”Mediterranean Lamb and Veggie Skewers” servings=”4-6″ time=”40 min + marinating time” difficulty=”easy”]
- 2 lbs. boneless leg of lamb
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 1 lb. cherry (cocktail) tomatoes
- 8 oz. cremini mushrooms, stems trimmed
- 1 yellow, 1 orange bell pepper, cut into 8 chucks each
- 1 red onion, peeled and cut into 8 wedges, root intact
- Lemon wedges, for serving
For the Marinade
- 2 medium yellow onion, peeled and cut into large chunks
- 10 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
- 2 tsp. allspice
- 1 tsp. nutmeg
- 1 tsp. cardamom
- 1 cup packed fresh parsley leaves
- 2⁄3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Juice and zest of 1 lemon
- Cut the lamb into 1 to 1 ½ -inch cubes or pieces and put them in a large ziploc. Season with kosher salt and black pepper.
- In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade, combine the onion, garlic, spices, parsley, olive oil and lemon juice and zest. Cover and run the processor until everything is finely chopped (you should end up with a thick onion marinade).
- Divide the mixture into three equal portions and pour the first over the lamb and mix well to make sure all the lamb is well coated with the marinade. Repeat with the other two bags of veggies.
- Cover and refrigerate all 3 bags for up to 2 hours. (If you do not have time, leave the kebabs to marinate at room temperature for about 30 minutes).
- Brush the grates of a gas grill (or an indoor griddle) with oil and heat.
- Shake excess marinade off and thread the lamb pieces on some long metal skewers, allowing a little room between pieces. (Flat metal skewers are best, but wooden skewers soaked in water will also work).
- Repeat with the tomatoes and mushroom caps, and then the bell pepper and onion pieces.
- Assemble the bell pepper/onion skewers on the hot grill first. After 10 minutes, add the tomato skewers. Turn all skewers every few minutes as they begin to char.
- After five minutes more, add the lamb kebabs. Grill over high heat, turning each kabob one-quarter turn every couple minutes, until the meat is browned all over, anywhere from 5 to 7 minutes, depending on how well you like your lamb cooked (5 minutes on our grill produced medium-rare kebabs).
- Remove all skewers at the same time. Slide all contents onto a large platter and pass around to each dinner guest. Plate with couscous, if using, and lemon wedges.
Loosely adapted from a recipe by The Mediterranean Dish