Grilled Lemon and Mint Lamb Kabobs
"Easy living" is my cooking philosophy for summer months. No one wants to spend hours in the kitchen when days filled with light and warmth beckon you to enjoy the outdoors. That's especially true when you live in
When entertaining during this season, I look for dishes, in particular main courses, that are simple and stress free. Grilled Lemon and Mint Kabobs are such an entree. A marinade prepared with a minimum of ingredients, including fresh mint, lemon juice, garlic, and olive oil, takes only minutes to assemble. Then, cubes of boneless leg of lamb need several hours or an overnight in the fridge to soak up all the flavors. At grilling time, the cubes are skewered along with paper-thin lemon slices and quickly cooked until slightly charred on the outside and rosy pink beneath. The tart lemon slices, which can be eaten along with the meat or simply set aside, add an important citrus accent to the lamb.
For an upcoming dinner party at our house, these kabobs will be the star attraction. Rice scented with turmeric and some sauteed zucchini will make easy sides, but couscous and sliced heirloom tomatoes would be equally tempting garnishes. Count on 15 minutes for prepping the lamb, and about 20 to skewer and cook it. That will leave you with plenty of time to savor the long, luscious days of summer.
GRILLED LEMON AND MINT LAMB KABOBS
1-1/2 pounds boneless leg of lamb
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil plus extra for greasing grill rack
2 large garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
2 tablespoons plus 4 teaspoons chopped mint leaves, divided, plus sprigs for garnish
2 to 3 whole lemons
8 metal skewers or 8 wooden skewers that have been soaked in water for 30 minutes
Trim the lamb of excess fat and sinew, and cut into 1-inch cubes.
In a large, shallow nonreactive dish, mix the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, and 2 tablespoons of the chopped mint. Add the lamb and toss well to coat. Cover dish with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator, stirring occasionally, at least 8 hours or overnight.
When ready to cook, slice the lemons paper thin. (You'll get about 10 or more whole slices from each lemon.) Cut each slice in half and remove the seeds. Alternate cubes of lamb and halved lemon slices on 8 skewers, beginning and ending with lamb.
Prepare a grill for a hot fire. Oil the rack and arrange it 4 to 5 inches from heat source. Grill skewers for 4 minutes, then turn and cook on the other side for 2 to 3 minutes or more. Cooking time can vary depending of type of grill and intensity of the heat, so watch carefully. When done, an instant read meat thermometer inserted into center of a lamb cube should register 130 degrees for medium rare, and lamb should be pink inside.
Arrange 2 skewers on each of 4 dinner plates, sprinkle with chopped mint, and garnish with a mint sprig. Serves 4.
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Grilled Lemon and Mint Lamb Kabobs
(c) 2009, Betty Rosbottom
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