Lamb and Pita Salad

Mains, Recipes

Lamb and Pita Salad

This salad is similar to fattoush, a Middle Eastern favorite that uses a sweet-a-savory combination of flavors. It is worth seeking out sumac (an aromatic spice) and za’atar (a spice blend) at a well-stocked supermarket or Middle Eastern store to impart an authentic flavor to the salad. Pomegranate molasses varies in sweetness; taste the dressing first and add honey until the sourness of the molasses is tamed.

 

Lamb and Pita Salad

 

1 1/4 lb (625 g) boneless lamb leg steaks, each abut 1/2 inch (12 mm) thick, or 1 1/2 lb (750 g) bone-in lamb leg steaks

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

 

For the Pita Salad:

2 pita breads, split horizontally

2 cloves garlic

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons pomegranate molasses

2-3 teaspoons honey

1/4 cup (2 fl oz/60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt

2 large tomatoes, halved crosswise, seeded, and diced

4 green onions, white and light green parts, thinly sliced

1 English cucumber, seeded and cut into small dice

4-6 radishes, coarsely chopped

1 head romaine lettuce, pale inner leaves only, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch (12-mm) pieces

1/2 cup (1/2 oz/15 g) coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1/2 cup  (3/4 oz/20 g) coarsely chopped fresh mint

1 tablespoon ground sumac or za’atar

 

Brush both sides of the lamb steaks with oil and season with the cumin and generously with salt and pepper. Let stand at room temperature for about 1 hour.

 

To make the pita salad, preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Arrange the pita breads on a baking sheet and bake until lightly crisped and golden, about 10 minutes. Let cool, then break into 1-inch (2.5-cm) pieces. In a mini food processor, process the garlic until minced. Add the lemon juice, molasses, honey, oil, and 1 teaspoon salt. Pulse to combine. Set the pita piece and dressing aside. In a large serving bowl, combine the tomatoes, green onions, cucumber, radishes, romaine, parsley, and mint. Toss to combine. Refrigerate while you cook the lamb.

 

Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for direct-heat grilling over high heat, or preheat a cast-iron stove-top grill pan over high heat. Place the steaks on the grill rack over the hottest part of the fire or in the grill pan, and cook, turning once, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the steak registers 135°F (57°C) for medium-rare, 2-2 1/2 minutes per side, or to your desired doneness. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for about 5 minutes. Cut the steaks crosswise into strips 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide, working around the bone if necessary.

 

Add the pita pieces to the salad, drizzle with the dressing, and toss to mix. Arrange the lamb on top, sprinkle with the sumac, and serve at once. Serves 4-6.

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