Hummus Kawarma (Lamb) with Lemon Sauce

Hummus kawarma (lamb) with Lemon Sauce - trust in kim

Yotam Ottolenghi, thank you for this recipe! I have several of his cookbooks, and I think this is my favourite recipe out of all of them. It comes from Jerusalem, which is filled with awesome recipes along with beautiful photos of the food and culture.

There is so much flavour in this dish – the lamb is marinated in herbs, and then it is served on top of hummus and drizzled with a delicious lemon sauce. Completely addictive!

In the colder seasons I serve this with another favourite recipe, roasted cauliflower and butternut squash. In summer I would switch to a refreshing fattoush salad.

You can substitute the hand-chopped lamb with ground lamb, but the hand-chopped meat has a much nicer texture to it. And it’s really easy to chop the meat yourself.

This recipe serves 6 people for an appetizer or small meal. Pita bread is nice served with this.

What you need:

kawarma ingredients:

  • 300g neck fillet of lamb (which I couldn’t find, so I just used a piece of top round)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon crushed dried za’atar or oregano leaves
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus extra to garnish
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter or ghee
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

lemon sauce ingredients:

  • 10 grams flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped (also delicious without parsley)
  • 1 green chile, chopped finely
  • 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

optional toppings:

  • pine nuts
  • pomegranate seeds

What you do:

  1. Chop the lamb finely. Combine all the kawarma ingredients except the butter and oil. Mix well, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Combine all the ingredients for the lemon sauce.
  3. Heat the butter and olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the lamb, in two or three batches, and stir as it fries. It only needs about 2 minutes to turn nicely light-pink inside.
  4. To serve, make a mound of hummus on the plate, and use a spoon to create a well in the middle. Spoon some of the lamb into the well, and top with a generous amount of the lemon sauce. Garnish with more parsley or other optional toppings.

Enjoy it while it’s warm!

Super Creamy Hummus, Ottolenghi Style

hummus - trust in kim

This hummus recipe by Yotam Ottolenghi is so much better than anything you can buy. It is light and creamy, and I like that I can control what goes into it – a little more lemon, a little more tahini. This recipe doesn’t have contain any olive oil, unless you pour some on top before serving.  A lot of the store-bought varieties don’t use olive oil either, often using canola oil or other substitutions. I like to drizzle olive oil on the top to add flavour, make it richer, and make it seems more Mediterranean.

It’s really not that difficult to make an awesome hummus, and there are different lengths you can go to, like starting with dry chickpeas, and peeling the skins off them. For me it’s worth the extra effort to have such a great tasting and smooth hummus, when I have a little bit of time to do it.

When I made mine I did cheat a little and use canned chickpeas, so the recipe below shows how to work with dry or canned chickpeas. One day soon I will use the method in the cookbook, cooking my own chickpeas while quickening the process by adding baking soda. But for now, because I used the canned chickpeas I had to remove the skins – this is one of the things that makes this hummus so creamy, and it only took about ten minutes.

I like to serve hummus with homemade pita crackers, and some veggie sticks.

What you need:

  • 1 & ¼ cups dried chickpeas (or one 540mL can)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup tahini 
  • 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  •  Salt to taste
  • 6 & ½ tablespoons ice-cold water 

What you do:

  1. Place the chickpeas in a large pot and cover them with at least double their volume of cold water; let them soak overnight. If you are using canned chickpeas you will instead remove the skins. This is a bit of work. Here’s what I do. I drain them and put them in a large bowl with water. Then I rub some of them between my hands, and a lot of the skins come off that way. Then I go through them and pull off any skins that are remaining.
  2. If you are using dried chickpeas, drain them the next day and put them in a pot with the baking soda over high heat; cook for about 3 minutes, stirring constantly. This will help them cook faster. Add 6 & 1/2 cups of water to the pot and bring it to a boil. Lower the heat to simmer, skimming off any foam and skins. Cook for 20-40 minutes until they are tender; they should break easily when squeezed, but not be mushy.
  3. Drain the chickpeas and place in them a food processor or blender. Process until you have a thick paste. Add the tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and 1 & 1/2 teaspoons of salt; blend this. With the machine still running drizzle in most of the ice water and let it mix for about 5 minutes. You will get a very creamy paste. Add more water if you think it needs it, and taste to adjust seasonings.
  4. Put the hummus in a bowl and cover it. Let it rest for at least half an hour. Refrigerate if you are not using it right away, but remove from the fridge at least half an hour before you use it.

Enjoy!

 

Preserved Lemon

preserved lemon - trust in kim

 

Preserving lemons takes a few weeks to accomplish, but it is really simple, and adds so much to Middle Eastern dishes like a chicken tagine.

Preserved lemons are pickled in their own juice and salt. They sit for a number of weeks, and when they are done can be kept in the fridge for months. The peel of the lemon becomes full of flavour through the preserving process, so you use this part and get rid of the flesh.

I still have to do some experimenting with other uses of preserved lemons, but I have tried them in a dip, and on some fish, as well as with chicken. So good!

I’ve only made this once, and I halved the recipe just in case I didn’t like it. Here is the full recipe from Yotam Ottolenghi’s The Cookbook.

What you need:

  • 1 jar just large enough to hold all the lemons squished in tightly
  • boiling water
  • 6 unwaxed lemons
  • 6 tablespoons coarse sea salt
  • 2 sprigs rosemary (optional)
  • 1 large red chile
  • juice of 6 lemons
  • olive oil

What you do:

  1. Fill the jar with boiling water and let it sit for a minute to sterilize it. Pour the water out and let it sit without touching or drying it.
  2. Wash the lemons and cut a cross in them from one end to about 2cm from the bottom so the 4 quarters are still attached. Pour a tablespoon of salt into each lemon, then fit them tightly into the jar. Seal the jar and leave it for at least a week. I left mine in a cupboard.
  3. After the first week, remove the lid and push the lemons down to squeeze as much juice out as you can. Add the rosemary, chile, and as much lemon juice as you need to cover the lemons. Pour a thin layer of olive oil on top. Seal the jar and leave in a cool place for at least 4 weeks. I put mine in the fridge at this point and forgot about them for a few months. They turned out awesome!
  4. To use the lemons, remove the flesh from the inside of one and rinse the peel. Chop it up and use as you wish.

preserving lemons - trust in kim

 

Yotam Ottolenghi's shop on Motcomb Street in London from my visit in July 2014
Yotam Ottolenghi’s shop on Motcomb Street in London from my visit in July 2014

Open Kibbeh

kibbeh - trust in kim

Here  is another Yotam Ottolenghi recipe from his Jerusalem cookbook.  It is not a traditional kibbeh recipe; this one is layered with a bulgur crust on the bottom, meat and onion, then the tahini on top.  It takes a bit of time to get this together, but there’s nothing really difficult about it.  I might make a little more of the tahini sauce next time, because I didn’t have enough to get to the edges of my kibbeh, and the meat got a little crunchy because of that.  Yet still yummy!

Serve this with fattoush or tabbouleh salad or even just a nice green salad.

What you need:

  • scant 1 cup/125 grams fine bulgur wheat
  • 200 mL water
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil/ 90 mL
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 1 green chile, finely chopped
  • 12 oz / 350 grams ground lamb (substitute beef if you wish)
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 cup/ 60 grams pine nuts
  • 3 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons self-rising flour (I just added a pinch each of salt and baking powder to regular flour)
  • 3 & 1/2 tablespoons light tahini paste
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sumac
  • salt and pepper

What you do:

  1. Line the sides an 8-inch/ 20 cm springform pan with wax or parchment paper.
  2. Place the bulgur in a large bowl and cover it with water.  Let it sit for 30 minutes.
  3. Heat 4 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large pan and sauté the garlic, onion and chile until they are soft. Remove the onion mixture from the pan.
  4. Cook the lamb in the large frying pan for about 5 minutes, stirring, until browned.  Add the onion mixture and add the spices, cilantro, 1/2 teaspoon salt, some freshly ground pepper, most of the pine nuts and parsley, leaving some aside for the top. Cook this for a few minutes, then return from the heat and adjust seasonings.
  5.  Preheat the oven to 400F.
  6. Check to see if all the water has been absorbed into the bulgur; drain any remaining water.  Add the flour, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and a pinch of black pepper.  Work this mixture with your hands until it holds together.  Add a little more flour if it is too sticky.  Press firmly into the bottom of the springform pan so that it is compact and level.
  7. Add the lamb mixture and press it down a little.
  8. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the meat is very dark brown.
  9. While the kibbeh is in the oven whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, 3 & 1/2 tablespoons of water and a pinch of salt.
  10. Remove the kibbeh from the oven and spread the tahini over the top (closer to the edges than in my picture!), sprinkle with the nuts and parsley and return to the oven for 10-12 minutes, until the tahini sauce has a little colour and the pine nuts are golden.
  11. Remove the kibbeh from the oven and let it cool until it is warm or room temperature.  Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sumac.  Remove the springform pan sides and parchment paper and cut into wedges to serve.

Green Gazpacho

green gazpacho - trust in kim

This soup is awesome! I was a little hesitant at first, as I’m not a big fan of green bell peppers, but since I have loved red gazpacho so much I thought I should at least give this a try.  After all, Yotam Ottolenghi wrote in his lovely cookbook Plenty that this is by far his favourite cold soup, so it must be good.  It is now one of my top favourites too.  It has so much flavour, and it’s got lots of healthy ingredients.  I made one big change, though – the recipe serving six people called for one whole cup! of olive oil! I cut that down to 1/4 cup.  Still takes great, and I feel better knowing I’m not eating almost 3 tablespoons of oil per serving.

While there is no cooking, there’s a bit of chopping, and then blending, so it’s not as quick as I thought it would be.  But it is totally worth a little extra chopping.

What you need:

  • 2 celery stalks (including leaves)
  • 2 small green bell peppers
  • 6 mini cucumbers (1 & 1/4 lbs), peeled
  • 3 slices stale white bread with crusts removed
  • 1 fresh green chile (I used a jalapeno)
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 & 1/2 cups walnuts
  • 6 cups baby spinach
  • 1 cup basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 4 tablespoons sherry vinegar (I used white balsamic vinegar)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons Greek yogurt (I just used my plain yogurt)
  • about 2 cups cold water
  • 9 oz ice cubes
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • white pepper (I just used black)

What you do:

  1.  Lightly toast the walnuts in a dry frying pan or in the oven. Let them cool.
  2. Roughly chop the celery, bell peppers, cucumbers, bread, chile and garlic and place it in a blender. If you are using an immersion blender, as I did, just put the ingredients into a large bowl.  If you have the option to use a blender I recommend that, as it would be a bit easier to get the right consistency for all the vegetables.  Add the sugar, walnuts, spinach, basil, parsley, vinegar, oil, yogurt, most of the water, half of the ice cubes, salt, and some pepper.  Puree until smooth.  Add more water if you need, in order to get the right consistency.  Taste and adjust seasonings if you need to.
  3. Add the remaining ice and blend for just a second or two to break it up a little.
  4. Serve with homemade croutons or a few walnuts sprinkled on top.

This makes 6 very generous portions.  I cut the recipe in half, which would be a great option for a starter-sized portion.