One of the many things I like about this dish is that I think it could potentially be made with all lamb or all lentils. I didn’t find that the lentils got crisp, however, but firm small ones add a great texture.
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1/2 pound ground lamb
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- Red pepper flakes, to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds or a heaped 1/2 teaspoon ground
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 1/2 cups cooked brown or green lentils (from a scant 1 cup dried)
- 8 to 10 cup-shaped leaves from 1 medium head bibb or butter lettuce
- Tomato-cucumber “relish” salad
- Lemon-tahini dressing, with or without yogurt, or 1 cup plain yogurt, seasoned with salt and pepper
- A couple tablespoons chopped fresh herbs such as parsley, cilantro, and mint, or a mixture thereof
Crispy lamb and lentils
To assemble: Arrange lettuce leaves on a platter and divide lamb-lentil mixture between them. Top with yogurt, tahini, or yogurt-tahini sauce, tomato-cucumber relish and herbs. Serve with hot sauce, if desired.
To make a tomato-cucumber “relish” salad: Chop a handful of tomatoes and 1 large or a few smaller cucumbers into very small pieces. Finely chop 1/4 a medium red onion. Mix vegetables and onion in a bowl and dress to taste with olive oil, fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper. No matter how much it looks like, I promise it will be gone before the end of the meal.
To make a lemony-tahini yogurt dressing: Whisk 4 tablespoons well-stirred tahini in the bottom of a bowl. Whisk in the juice of 3/4 of a lemon, 1 minced garlic clove and 3 tablespoons water until smooth. Whisk in 2/3 cup plain yogurt, about 1/4 at a time, until smooth. Season with salt. Adjust everything to taste.
To make a lemony-tahini no-yogurt (so not thick and creamy, but still full of flavor) dressing: Combine 1/2 cup well-stirred tahini, 1 minced garlic clove, juice of 1 lemon, and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a bowl. Whisk in water as needed to loosen, you’ll likely need a few tablespoons. Season well with salt and pepper.
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