Lebanese Kebabs (Souvlakia)
I got this recipe from a book called “The Mediterranean Diet” by Nancy Harmon Jenkins. Spanning the Mediterranean from Spain to France, Italy, and Greece, with side trips to Lebanon, Cyprus, and North Africa, this cookbook offers hundreds of mouthwatering dishes plus the latest information about the nutritional benefits of one of the world’s healthiest cuisines. This mouthwatering gem is from the Lebanon and is their version of the humble kebab!
Lebanese kebabs with grilled vegetables
- 500g Boneless lean lamb, preferably from the leg, cut into cubes.
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup minced flat-leaf parsley
- 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
- freshly ground black pepper
- 2 bay leaves, crumbled
- red onions, unpeeled, cut into quarters
- red and green bell peppers, cut in half lengthwise and cored
- fresh hot red and green chillies, cut in half lengthwise and cored
- small ripe but firm tomatoes, cut in half, or whole cherry tomatoes
- lemon wedges to squeeze over the grilled meat and vegetables
Mix the lamb with the oil, lemon juice, parsley, garlic, red pepper flakes, black pepper and bay leaves. Stir with your hands to distribute the aromatics throughout. Cover and place in the fridge for a few hours, or preferably overnight. Stir the meat around every few hours.
While the charcoal is lighting, thread the meat onto metal skewers. Reserve the marinade. Brush the vegetables with the remaining marinade. If there’s still some left, reserve it for basting the kebabs while they cook. If there’s not much left, add some extra olive oil to twhat’s left of the marinade. This will take on some flavour from the bits of garlic, chilli flakes & parsley and serve as a decent basting liquid.
As the vegetables will take longer than the meat, put these on first, skin side down. The vegetables only need to be grilled on their skin side as the heat of the grill will penetrate through. The blistering skin of the onions, peppers and tomatoes should give a wonderful aroma to your barbecue. Place the vegetables slightly away from the hottest coals, so they don’t burn too quickly. When the vegetables have had a few minutes head start, place the kebabs onto the grill. They only take about 8 minutes. Turn frequently and baste with the reserved marinade.
Remove from the grill, mix the meat and vegetables together, sprinkle with salt and squeeze over fresh lemon. There you have it, Lebanese kebabs with grilled vegetables. Enjoy!