Wednesday, May 06, 2009


"Every spring is the only spring - a perpetual astonishment."
~ Ellis Peters

Iris and tulips

~ Shwarma ... thin slices of roasted meat and condiments often wrapped in pita ... a popular Middle East street food. This favorite is saved from Food & Wine (April 2007)
1 6-7 lb. butterflied leg of lamb
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
6 cloves minced garlic
juice of 2 lemons
1 Tbsp. ground cumin
1 Tbsp. ground cardamom
1 tsp. Aleppo pepper or 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
freshly ground black pepper
Kosher salt
2 orange bell peppers, cut into 1/4-inch strips
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch strips
3 medium thinly sliced red onions

Yogurt Tahini Sauce

  • In a small bowl, mix 1.22 up of olive oil with garlic, lemon juice, cumin, cardamom, Aleppo pepper, 1 tsp. of black pepper and 1 1/2 Tbsp. of salt. Set lamb in rimmed baking sheet and cot it completely with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate overnight or, preferably for 2-3 days.
  • Light grill. In large skillet, heat 1 Tbsp. of olive oil. Add bell pepper strips, cover and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally until tender, about 10 minutes. Season peppers with salt & pepper and transfer to serving bowl. Heat remaining 1 Tbsp. olive oil in skillet and add onions. Cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally until lightly browned, about 10 minutes Sean with salt & pepper and transfer to another serving bowl.
  • Grill the butterflied lamb over moderately high heat, turning and shifting often until and instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest part of meat registers 130 degrees for medium-rare, about 25 minutes. Transfer lamb to a carving board and let rest for 10 minutes. Thinly slice lamb across the grain and serve with the peppers, onions, Yogurt-Tahini Sauce and Syrian Pita Bead. (8 servings)

Wine suggestion: plummy Hanna 2003 Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon.


1/4 cup room temperature tahini paste
juice of half a lemon
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 cup plain whole milk yogurt
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. aleppo pepper or freshly ground black pepper
coarse salt
1 Tbsp. finely chopped parsley, for garnish.

Blend tahini paste, lemon juice and olive oil in food processor until smooth. Add yogurt and blend the mixture thoroughly. Scrape tahini sauce into a bowl; stir in cumin and Aleppo pepper (freshly ground pepper is fine). Season with salt & pepper and garnish with parsley. Can make ahead for up to 3 days. Serve at room temperature. (2 cups)


Pat said...

Love your quote by Peters.
Can we change the lamb to something else. Lamb is yucky to me. :)

Bonnie Story said...

What a lovely composition in your collage! Fantastic color combination. I wish I had some leg-o-lamb here tonight, I'd try the shwarma immediately. It looks like the kind of recipe that is friendly to substitutions, possibly chicken? That I can do. Yum!! - Bonnie

Dirt Princess said...

YUM!!! Can you make some humus and falafel as well?

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

Purple and orange, one of my favorite combos. I can even (as reported earlier) make hummus!!!

marmee said...

i have asked for lamb on mother's the sound of this recipe. love your tulips and iris'.

Gail said...

Joey, This recipe is delicious sounding, but with the cardoman and cumin, it must smell wonderful... You know, it's always a sensory delight to stop by The Village Voice!
Every sense gets awakened...I can even hear you whisking the olive oil and lemon juice! Have a wonderful day! gail

Roses and Lilacs said...

What lovely color combinations you selected for you collage. I'd like to create something like that in a small area near my entrance.

Nutty Gnome said...

Mmmhhh, gorgeous photos, gorgeous recipes - what a joy your blog is!
Thanks Joey, you make the day shine!

joey said...

Chicken is also great, Patsi, and that leaves lots of lamb left for the rest of us :)

Thanks Bonnie ~ for sure, chicken is also great.

Yes, I love hummus and falafel, Dirt Princess! Mediterranean cuisine rules in this household!

Good for you, Monica! Hummus is easy isn't it and often tastier than store bought.

Enjoy your luscious lamb and Happy Mother's Day, dear Marmee!

Olive oil and lemon fragrance permeates my kitchen, Gail (and garlic), surely driffing into the garden. You're a dear to visualize but then, you are a sensual woman :)

Do that, Marnie! Once these have said goodbye, overplant with other perennials/bulbs or annuals so that each day you will be greeted with happy colors that you love.

Nutty, you are so sweet ... you make MY day shine!

beckie said...

Joey, just when I have said I am not a fan of orange in the garden, you show this delightful combination of colors! What a treat for the eyes. I shall have to rty this with some annuals in a container. Thanks!

joey said...

Thanks Beckie ... like guests, I think it depends on when they come and who they are with :)

Unknown said...

Oooh... I'm glad to have something else (outside of hummus) in which to use my tahini! And I'm glad to see that you, like me, seem to love 'Prinses Irene' tulips, Joey. I think that they are my alltime favorites. :)

Happy Spring!

joey said...

Hi Kim and indeed I do love them. Spring bulbs rule and as much as I hate planting them in the fall, I'm thrilled each spring.