Sardinian Lamb Kabobs Over Couscous Recipe

Savor the flavors of the Mediterranean with this enticing Sardinian Lamb Kabobs served over Couscous recipe. This dish offers a tantalizing blend of herbs and spices that transport you to the sunny coasts of Sardinia. The lamb is marinated in a fragrant mix of thyme and lemon, then grilled to perfection. The couscous, rich with the flavors of saffron, garlic, and tomatoes, provides a satisfying and flavorful base.

Sardinian Lamb Kabobs Over Couscous Recipe
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This recipe uses several ingredients that may not be readily available in your pantry. Saffron, a spice derived from the flower of Crocus sativus, is used in many Mediterranean recipes and provides a distinctive aroma and flavor. Additionally, currants, smaller than regular raisins, are dried berries that add a sweet and tangy burst to the dish. Pine nuts, another key ingredient, have a buttery texture and are often used in Mediterranean cuisine. You should be able to find these ingredients in the international aisle of your local supermarket.

Ingredients for Sardinian Lamb Kabobs served over Couscous

Pine nuts: These are seeds from pine trees and have a mild, sweet, and buttery flavor. They add a nice texture and are also used for their rich, nutty flavor.

Leg of lamb: This is a tender and flavorful cut of meat, widely used in Mediterranean cooking. It is marinated and then grilled for this recipe.

Olive oil: Used for marinating the lamb and cooking the couscous. It brings out the flavors of the ingredients and adds a smooth, rich base to the dish.

Dried thyme: This herb adds a subtle, earthy flavor to the marinade.

Lemon juice: Used in the marinade to tenderize the lamb and add a tangy flavor. It also balances the richness of the other ingredients.

Onion: It brings a slightly sweet and savory flavor to the couscous.

Cauliflower: Adds texture and a slight sweetness to the couscous.

Garlic: Gives a strong, spicy flavor that complements the other ingredients.

Salt: Enhances the overall flavors of the dish.

Saffron: A spice that gives the couscous a unique aroma and a beautiful golden color.

Black pepper: Adds a spicy kick to the lamb and the couscous.

Tomatoes in thick puree: Gives the couscous a tangy flavor and a pleasing color.

Chicken broth: Used to cook the couscous, adds a flavorful moisture.

Currants: These dried berries add a sweet and tangy flavor to the couscous.

Couscous: A type of pasta that is the base of this dish. It absorbs all the flavors from the ingredients cooked with it.

Fresh parsley: Used for garnishing, it adds a fresh, herbal flavor to the dish.

One reader, Jamison Stark says:

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The Sardinian lamb kabobs served over couscous recipe is a delightful culinary experience. The tender lamb, infused with thyme and lemon, pairs perfectly with the flavorful couscous. The combination of spices and textures creates a truly satisfying dish that is sure to impress. I highly recommend trying this recipe for a memorable dining experience.

Jamison Stark

Techniques Required

How to toast pine nuts: In a small frying pan, toast the pine nuts over moderately low heat, stirring frequently, until golden brown, about 5 minutes.

How to marinate lamb: In a glass dish or stainless-steel pan, combine the lamb, 6 tablespoons of the oil, the thyme, and 3 tablespoons of the lemon juice.

How to cook cauliflower and currants: In a large frying pan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil over moderate heat. Add the onion and cook until starting to brown. Then add the cauliflower, garlic, salt, pepper, tomatoes, broth, and currants. Simmer until the cauliflower is tender, about 5 minutes.

How to prepare couscous: Stir in the couscous and parsley. Bring to a simmer, cover, remove from the heat, and let sit for 5 minutes. Stir in the pine nuts and the remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice.

How to grill lamb kabobs: Put the lamb on skewers, sprinkle with salt and pepper, then grill or broil the kabobs, turning and basting with the marinade, until the lamb is cooked to your taste, 6 to 8 minutes for medium rare.

How To Make Sardinian Lamb Kabobs Over Couscous

These lamb kabobs makes a filling meal, brimming with tangy and herby flavors, grilled to smoky perfection, and served over tomato-simmered couscous!

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 25 minutes
Total: 35 minutes

Serves:

Ingredients

  • 1cuppine nuts
  • lbsleg of lamb,boneless
  • 8tbspolive oil
  • 2tspdried thyme
  • 4tbsplemon juice
  • 1onion
  • 1small cauliflower head,(about 1¼ lbs)
  • 4garlic cloves
  • 2tspsalt
  • ¼tspsaffron,optional
  • ¾tspfresh ground black pepper
  • 1cuptomatoes in thick puree,canned, crushed
  • cupschicken broth,canned, low sodium
  • ½cupcurrants
  • cupscouscous
  • ¼cupfresh parsley,chopped

Instructions

  1. In a small frying pan, toast the pine nuts over moderately low heat, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes, until golden brown.

  2. Light the grill or heat the broiler.

  3. In a glass dish or stainless-steel pan, combine the lamb, 6 tablespoons of the oil, the thyme and 3 tablespoons of the lemon juice.

  4. In a large frying pan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil over moderate heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, until starting to brown.

  5. Add the cauliflower, garlic and ¼ teaspoon of the salt and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, until the cauliflower is golden. Add the saffron, if using, 1¼ teaspoons of the salt, ½ teaspoon of the pepper, the tomatoes, broth, and currants.

  6. Simmer for about 5 minutes, until the cauliflower is tender. Stir in the couscous and parsley. Bring to a simmer.

  7. Cover, remove from the heat, and let sit for 5 minutes. Stir in the pine nuts and the remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice.

  8. Put the lamb on skewers. Sprinkle the kabobs with the remaining ½ teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of pepper.

  9. Grill or broil the kabobs, turning and basting with the marinade, for 6 to 8 minutes for medium rare, until the lamb is cooked to taste.

  10. Serve the skewers on the couscous, and enjoy!

Nutrition

  • Calories: 1201.81kcal
  • Fat: 76.76g
  • Saturated Fat: 16.51g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 36.82g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 16.80g
  • Carbohydrates: 82.33g
  • Fiber: 8.58g
  • Sugar: 19.01g
  • Protein: 50.10g
  • Cholesterol: 118.82mg
  • Sodium: 1340.78mg
  • Calcium: 103.05mg
  • Potassium: 1411.89mg
  • Iron: 7.84mg
  • Vitamin A: 34.65µg
  • Vitamin C: 52.78mg

Crucial Technique Tip for Perfecting the Kabobs

When preparing your lamb kabobs, it's important to cut the lamb into even pieces. This ensures that all pieces will cook at the same rate, preventing some pieces from being overcooked while others are undercooked. Additionally, when marinating the lamb, make sure to give it enough time to absorb the flavors. Ideally, you should marinate the lamb for at least two hours, but if you have the time, letting it marinate overnight in the refrigerator can result in even more flavorful kabobs.

Time-Saving Tips for Preparing Sardinian Lamb Kabobs

Prep ahead: Marinate the lamb and prepare the couscous in advance to save time on the day of cooking.

Use pre-cut veggies: Opt for pre-cut cauliflower and onions to minimize prep time.

Grill in batches: Cook the lamb skewers in batches to ensure even cooking and to save time.

Invest in a food processor: Use a food processor to chop the ingredients quickly and efficiently.

Organize your workspace: Keep all ingredients and tools within reach to streamline the cooking process.

Multi-task: While the lamb is marinating, prepare the couscous and vice versa to maximize efficiency.

Prep and measure: Pre-measure all ingredients and prep them before starting the cooking process for a smoother experience.

Clean as you go: Wash and put away utensils and dishes as you cook to minimize clutter and save time during cleanup.

Substitute Ingredients For Sardinian Lamb Kabobs Over Couscous Recipe

  • pine nuts - Substitute with slivered almonds: Almonds can provide a similar nutty flavor and crunch to the dish, while also adding a slightly different texture.

  • boneless leg of lamb - Substitute with beef sirloin: Beef sirloin can be used as a substitute for lamb, providing a similar texture and flavor profile to the dish.

  • couscous - Substitute with quinoa: Quinoa can be used as a gluten-free alternative to couscous, offering a similar texture and nutty flavor to the dish.

  • saffron - Substitute with turmeric: Turmeric can provide a similar golden color and a mild earthy flavor to the dish, serving as a cost-effective alternative to saffron.

  • currants - Substitute with raisins: Raisins can be used as a substitute for currants, providing a sweet and slightly tangy flavor to the dish.

  • fresh parsley - Substitute with cilantro: Cilantro can be used as a substitute for parsley, offering a fresh and citrusy flavor to the dish.

Plating Ideas for a Stunning Presentation

  1. Elevate the lamb kabobs: Skewer the succulent lamb pieces with precision and artistry, ensuring each piece is evenly spaced and perfectly grilled.

  2. Garnish with toasted pine nuts: Sprinkle the golden-brown pine nuts over the lamb kabobs, adding a delightful crunch and nutty flavor to the dish.

  3. Create a vibrant cauliflower couscous bed: Arrange the fragrant cauliflower couscous on the plate, forming a visually appealing base for the sardinian lamb kabobs.

  4. Drizzle with saffron-infused sauce: Artfully drizzle the saffron-infused sauce over the kabobs, allowing the rich, golden hues to complement the dish's flavors.

  5. Finish with a sprinkle of fresh parsley: Add a final touch of freshness and color to the dish by delicately sprinkling fresh parsley over the lamb kabobs and couscous.

  6. Pair with a fine wine: Select a high-quality cabernet sauvignon from Friuli or Collio to complement the flavors of the sardinian lamb kabobs and elevate the dining experience.

Essential Kitchen Tools You'll Need

  • Frying pan: A flat-bottomed pan used for frying, searing, and browning foods.
  • Grill or broiler: Used for grilling and broiling meats and vegetables.
  • Glass dish or stainless-steel pan: Used for marinating and storing food.
  • Large frying pan: Used for sautéing, frying, and stir-frying ingredients.
  • Skewers: Used for skewering and grilling meats and vegetables.

Storage and Freezing Instructions for Leftovers

  • To store leftover Sardinian lamb kabobs and couscous, allow them to cool completely to room temperature before placing in an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 3-4 days.
  • When ready to reheat, warm the couscous in a microwave or on the stovetop with a splash of chicken broth or water to prevent it from drying out. Reheat the lamb kabobs in a skillet or under the broiler until heated through.
  • For longer storage, freeze the couscous and lamb kabobs separately in freezer-safe containers or bags. Label and date the containers before placing them in the freezer.
  • To freeze the couscous, transfer it to a freezer-safe container or resealable bag, removing as much air as possible. Freeze for up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  • To freeze the lamb kabobs, remove them from the skewers and place them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Freeze until solid, then transfer the frozen kabobs to a freezer-safe container or resealable bag. Freeze for up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  • When reheating frozen couscous, add a small amount of chicken broth or water to help restore moisture. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop until heated through, stirring occasionally.
  • To reheat frozen lamb kabobs, place them in a skillet or under the broiler until heated through, turning occasionally to ensure even heating. Avoid overcooking, as this may result in dry, tough meat.

How To Reheat Leftovers

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the leftover couscous in an oven-safe dish and drizzle with a little olive oil or water to help keep it moist. Cover the dish with foil and bake for about 10-15 minutes, or until the couscous is heated through.

  • For the lamb kabobs, you can either reheat them in the oven or on the stovetop. If using the oven, place the kabobs on a baking sheet and cover with foil. Bake at 350°F (175°C) for 5-7 minutes, or until the lamb is heated through. If using the stovetop, heat a skillet over medium heat and add a little olive oil. Cook the kabobs for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until heated through.

  • If you want to reheat both the couscous and kabobs together, you can place the kabobs on top of the couscous in the oven-safe dish and follow the same instructions for reheating the couscous.

  • To add some extra flavor and moisture to the reheated dish, you can sprinkle some water or chicken broth over the couscous before reheating. You can also add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice over the kabobs after reheating for a bright, citrusy kick.

  • If you have any leftover vegetables from the original dish, such as cauliflower or tomatoes, you can reheat them in the same dish as the couscous for added texture and flavor.

  • To prevent the lamb from drying out during reheating, you can brush the kabobs with a little olive oil or melted butter before placing them in the oven or on the stovetop.

  • If you want to get creative with your leftovers, try repurposing them into a new dish. For example, you could chop up the lamb kabobs and mix them with the couscous, along with some fresh herbs and pine nuts, to create a flavorful pilaf. Or, you could use the leftover couscous as a base for a salad, topped with the reheated lamb kabobs and some fresh vegetables.

Random Fact about Sardinian Lamb Kabobs Served Over Couscous

The Sardinian lamb kabobs served over couscous recipe is a traditional dish from the Italian island of Sardinia. Sardinian cuisine is known for its unique flavors and influences from various Mediterranean cultures. The use of pine nuts, saffron, and currants in this recipe reflects the island's rich culinary heritage. The dish is a perfect blend of savory and sweet flavors, making it a delightful and satisfying meal. Sardinian cuisine often incorporates fresh herbs and local produce, adding a burst of freshness to every dish. The combination of flavors in this recipe truly captures the essence of Sardinian cooking.

Is Making This Dish at Home Cost-Effective?

The cost-effectiveness of this Sardinian lamb kabobs served over couscous recipe largely depends on the availability and cost of ingredients in your area. Lamb and pine nuts can be relatively expensive, but the use of cauliflower and couscous can help balance the cost. The dish offers a unique blend of flavors and textures, making it a delightful addition to your culinary repertoire. On a scale of 1-10, I would rate this recipe an 8 for its taste and versatility. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people would be around $40-$50, factoring in the use of quality ingredients.

Is This Dish Healthy or Not So Much?

This Sardinian lamb kabob recipe has both healthy and unhealthy aspects. On the positive side:

  • Lamb is a good source of protein, iron, and vitamin B12
  • The recipe includes nutrient-rich vegetables like cauliflower, onion, and tomatoes
  • Olive oil provides healthy monounsaturated fats
  • Garlic and parsley offer additional vitamins and minerals

However, there are some less healthy components:

  • The recipe is high in fat due to the olive oil and lamb
  • Currants and pine nuts add extra calories and fat
  • Couscous is a refined grain, lacking in fiber compared to whole grain options
  • The sodium content may be high, especially if using regular chicken broth

To make this recipe healthier, I would suggest the following modifications:

  • Reduce the amount of olive oil used, or replace some with a lower-calorie cooking spray
  • Choose a leaner cut of lamb, such as loin, and trim any visible fat
  • Swap regular couscous for whole wheat couscous to increase fiber intake
  • Use low-sodium chicken broth to reduce the overall salt content
  • Increase the proportion of vegetables to meat, adding more cauliflower or other colorful veggies like bell peppers or zucchini
  • Limit the portion size of pine nuts and currants, or replace them with lower-calorie options like chopped fresh herbs or a sprinkle of lemon zest

By making these adjustments, you can enhance the nutritional value of the dish while still maintaining its delicious Sardinian flavors. The kabobs will be a satisfying and healthy meal when paired with the vegetable-packed couscous side.

Editor's Opinion on This Delightful Recipe

The combination of flavors and textures in this Sardinian lamb kabobs served over couscous recipe is truly delightful. The marinade infuses the lamb with a fragrant and savory essence, while the couscous provides a light and fluffy base. The addition of pine nuts adds a delightful crunch, and the currants bring a touch of sweetness to the dish. The cauliflower and tomato broth create a rich and aromatic accompaniment to the succulent lamb. This dish is a perfect balance of Mediterranean flavors and is sure to impress any palate.

Enhance Your Sardinian Lamb Kabobs Over Couscous Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes: Creamy mashed potatoes with a hint of roasted garlic, perfect for complementing the savory flavors of the lamb kabobs
Grilled Vegetable Platter: An assortment of grilled vegetables, such as zucchini, bell peppers, and eggplant, adding a colorful and nutritious side to the meal
Fruit Salad with Mint: A refreshing and vibrant fruit salad tossed with fresh mint, providing a light and fruity contrast to the rich flavors of the sardinian lamb kabobs

Other Alternative Recipes Similar to This Dish

Mediterranean Stuffed Bell Peppers: Use a mixture of ground lamb, rice, tomatoes, and spices to stuff bell peppers, then bake until tender and golden brown.
Moroccan Chickpea Tagine: Create a flavorful tagine with chickpeas, tomatoes, onions, and a blend of Moroccan spices, served over couscous for a satisfying meal.
Greek Lemon Chicken Soup: Simmer chicken, vegetables, and orzo in a lemon-infused broth for a comforting and hearty soup, perfect for a cozy night in.
Turkish Baklava: Layer phyllo dough with a sweet mixture of nuts, honey, and spices, then bake until golden and crispy for a delightful dessert.

Suggested Appetizers and Desserts to Complement This Recipe

Appetizers:
Stuffed Mushrooms: Create a savory and indulgent appetizer by stuffing mushrooms with a delicious mixture of cream cheese, garlic, and herbs. Top with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese for an extra layer of flavor and bake until golden and bubbly.
Bruschetta with Tomato and Basil: Elevate your appetizer game with classic bruschetta topped with a vibrant mixture of ripe tomatoes, fresh basil, and a drizzle of balsamic glaze. Serve on toasted baguette slices for a burst of Italian flavors in every bite.
Desserts:
Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a velvety smooth and rich chocolate mousse, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder. The perfect way to satisfy your sweet tooth after a savory meal.
Apple Crisp: Savor the warm, comforting flavors of baked apples, cinnamon, and a crunchy oat topping. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a delightful contrast of temperatures and textures.

Why trust this Sardinian Lamb Kabobs Over Couscous Recipe:

This recipe offers a delightful combination of flavors and textures, featuring succulent lamb marinated in fragrant olive oil and zesty lemon juice. The addition of pine nuts brings a delightful crunch, while the aromatic blend of thyme and saffron infuses the dish with rich, earthy notes. The inclusion of cauliflower and currants adds a unique twist, creating a dish that is both comforting and exotic. The careful instructions and thoughtful wine pairing recommendation showcase the expertise and attention to detail that make this recipe a trustworthy choice for a memorable dining experience.

Share your thoughts on this delicious Sardinian Lamb Kabobs Over Couscous recipe in the Recipe Sharing forum and let us know if you have any tips or variations to share!
FAQ:
What is the best way to cook the lamb kabobs?
The best way to cook the lamb kabobs is to grill or broil them. This method helps to seal in the flavors and juices of the lamb while giving it a delicious charred exterior.
Can I substitute the pine nuts with any other ingredient?
Yes, if you have any allergies or prefer a different nut, you can substitute the pine nuts with almonds, cashews, or even pistachios for a different flavor and texture.
How can I adjust the recipe for a vegetarian version?
To make a vegetarian version of this dish, you can substitute the lamb with chunks of firm tofu or seitan. You can also add more vegetables like bell peppers, zucchini, and eggplant to the skewers for a hearty and flavorful alternative.
Can I prepare the couscous in advance?
Yes, you can prepare the couscous in advance and reheat it before serving. Just make sure to fluff it with a fork to separate the grains before reheating to ensure a light and fluffy texture.
What wine would pair well with this dish?
I recommend pairing this dish with a cabernet sauvignon from Friuli or Collio. The herbaceous flavors of these wines complement the lamb and the Mediterranean-inspired spices and ingredients in the dish.

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