Turkish Lamb & Eggplant Kebabs
Baharat (Turkish Spice Paste) & Lamb
To prepare spice paste & marinate lamb: Combine 2 tablespoons oil, lemon juice, paprika, tomato paste, garlic, oregano, 1 teaspoon salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, cayenne to taste, cinnamon and allspice in a medium bowl. Transfer 2 tablespoons of the mixture to a small bowl and set aside. Add lamb to the remaining spice paste and stir until well coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 1 day.Advertisement
To prepare kebabs: Preheat a gas grill to medium-high heat or prepare a medium-high-heat fire in a charcoal grill.
Lay eggplant slices on a baking sheet and sprinkle lightly with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Let stand for about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, thread the lamb and onion alternately onto skewers.
Rinse the eggplant and pat dry with paper towels. Thread horizontally onto skewers (through the skin) so the eggplant will lie flat on the grill. Stir 1/4 cup oil into the reserved spice paste in the small bowl; brush the mixture all over the eggplant.
Place the lamb kebabs in the center, hotter part of the grill. Place the eggplant kebabs around the outside, cooler part of the grill. (Grill the kebabs in two batches if necessary.) Grill the lamb, turning every 2 to 3 minutes, until the meat is nicely browned on the outside, but still a little pink in the center, 10 to 12 minutes total. Grill the eggplant, turning once or twice, until soft and browned on both sides, 9 to 11 minutes total. Remove to a clean large serving platter. Serve with lemon wedges.
Make Ahead Tip: Marinate lamb (Step 1) for up to 1 day.
Equipment: 10 to 12 (12-inch) skewers
Note: Paprika labeled “Hungarian” is worth seeking out for this recipe because it delivers a fuller, richer flavor than regular paprika. Find it at well-stocked supermarkets, specialty-foods stores or online at penzeys.com.
Cut Down on Dishes: A rimmed baking sheet is great for everything from roasting to catching accidental drips and spills. For effortless cleanup and to keep your baking sheets in tip-top shape, line them with a layer of foil before each use.
1 1/2 vegetable, 2 1/2 lean meat, 2 fat