Arrosticini, a dish of skewered lamb that is popular in the Abruzzo region of Italy, is traditionally prepared seasoned with nothing but olive oil, salt and lemon, but here we add aromatic garlic and rosemary. Try serving this with a robust red wine such as a Sicilian Nero d’Avola. If you’re using wooden or bamboo skewers, be sure to soak them in water for at least 30 minutes before assembling the skewers to prevent them from burning on the grill.
Abruzzese-Style Lamb Skewers
2 lb. (1 kg) boneless leg of lamb with some marbling of fat, cut into 3/4-inch (2-cm) cubes
1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
Fine sea salt, to taste
3 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
1 large fresh rosemary sprig, cut into 2-inch (5-cm) pieces, plus more sprigs for garnish
1 lemon, cut into wedges
Divide the lamb cubes among long skewers (about 12 inches/30 cm), threading them tightly so they are touching and leaving a length of skewer empty at one end to use as a handle. Arrange the assembled
skewers in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet or in a large, shallow baking dish. Drizzle the olive oil over the skewers and rub with your fingers to make sure all of the meat is well coated. Sprinkle the meat lightly with salt and scatter the garlic and rosemary pieces on top. Let stand at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes.
Prepare a hot fire in a grill. Place the skewers on the grill directly over the heat and sear until browned on the first side, about 3 minutes. Turn and sear until browned on the second side, about 2 minutes longer. The interior of the meat should still be slightly pink. Using tongs, transfer the skewers to a large serving platter. Garnish the platter with the rosemary sprigs and lemon slices and serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.
Recipe adapted from Rustic Italian, by Domenica Marchetti