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Sunday, July 18, 2004

Pomegranate Lamb Kebabs with Cucumber Salad Recipe

It's that time again! Is my blog burning is a virtual event created by a fellow blogger Alberto who came up with the idea of many people cooking versions on a single theme in the space of a day. There have been IMBB events on themes such as tartines, rice dishes, and cakes among other things. This time around it's Grillers Delight .

I've written about pomegranate before, but I've never actually used pomegranate syrup. I've been thinking it would be good to marinate lamb with but I only had ground lamb in the freezer. I couldn't find any recipes for ground lamb and pomegranate so I improvised. I made Middle Eastern inspired lamb kebabs and a tomato, cucumber and sumac salad.

Pomegranate syrup is pretty easy to find in markets locally and one Lebanese brand Cortas is rather inexpensive. I bought a bottle for only $1.79. It is very thick and syrupy, a rich dark color and more tangy and astringent than sweet. It's very good with lamb since lamb can be greasy and the sharp tang of the pomegranate cuts through and enhances its flavor. Lamb cooks very easily on a George Foreman grill. Because it tends to be less lean, it doesn't dry out and the pomegranate helps create a crusty caramelized surface.

The salad is a perfect thing to make when you don't want to cook, or you just don't want to heat up the kitchen. You can serve it along side the kebabs or put it in pita bread with the kebabs and a spoonful of plain yogurt.

Pomegranate Lamb Kebabs with Cucumber Salad
serves 2


1/2 lb ground lamb
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
several grinds of fresh pepper
1 clove minced garlic
1/4 cup bread crumbs
2 Tablespoon minced white or red onion
2 teaspoon pomegranate syrup

1/2 English or hothouse cucumber, diced
1/4 c diced onion
1 medium tomato, diced
2 T flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 t sumac
1 T olive oil


For the kebabs
Mix all the ingredients and form 6 long flat meatballs. You can thread these onto skewers if grilling outdoors, but there is no need to if grilling on an indoor grill. Grill for several minutes until nicely browned on the outside and cooked through.

For the salad
Mix all the ingredients together and taste. If you need to you can add salt or lemon juice but if the tomatoes are flavorful you probably won't need to.