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Kefir Marinated Lamb and Zucchini Kebabs with Verde Kefir sauce

Fermented foods have slowly creeped onto American shelves over the last decade.  Food from different cultures is now accessible to foodies and cooks the world over via the internet and early findings show that these fermented foods could be beneficial to your overall health!  Healthy bacteria that grows during the fermentation process may aid in […]

Fermented foods have slowly creeped onto American shelves over the last decade.  Food from different cultures is now accessible to foodies and cooks the world over via the internet and early findings show that these fermented foods could be beneficial to your overall health!  Healthy bacteria that grows during the fermentation process may aid in digestion and improve immune health.  Foods like kombucha, kimchi and kefir can now be found on most supermarket shelves.  Kefir tastes a lot like plain yogurt but has more of a smoothie texture.  It’s a versatile ingredient to have in your refrigerator for not only smoothies, but dressings, marinades and even as a healthy drink filled with probiotics.  This kefir marinated lamb is packed with classic flavors of garlic, mint and lemon that complement and cut through the richness of the meat.  Lamb has a bold flavor that can handle intense seasoning so be generous with the spices and citrus when making the marinade.  This recipe features the lamb over saffron rice but could easily accommodate various diets by substituting other grains like quinoa or greens, like spinach and kale.

Ingredients

  • FOR VERDE KEFIR SAUCE
  • ½ cup plain kefir
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • FOR LAMB MARINADE
  • ½ cup plain kefir
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (about ½ lemon)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • KEBABS
  • Boneless leg of lamb (about 2 pounds), cut into 1 ½ - 2 inch pieces
  • 2 zucchini, sliced into ½ inch thick rounds
  • ½ red onion, sliced into ½ inch rounds and then into rectangular pieces for threading
  • 4 cups saffron rice (or other grain)
  • ½-¾ cup pomegranate seeds
  • Canola oil
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

  • In a medium bowl, combine first 8 ingredients and stir or whisk to combine. Add lamb and mix to cover or combine into a large plastic bag, massaging to even distribute marinade. Place in refrigerator 4 hours to overnight.
  • Preheat 1 burner on the grill to medium and 1 to medium low.
  • Combine kefir, mint, cilantro, lemon zest and juice, ½ teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of pepper in a medium bowl to combine. Adjust seasoning to taste.
  • Carefully thread lamb onto skewers, allowing marinade to cling. Thread zucchini and red onion, alternating, onto skewers. Coat zucchini and onion skewers with an oil meant for higher temperatures, like canola and season with salt and pepper.
  • Place Zucchini skewers on medium low burner and let cook for 5-6 minutes with lid closed.
  • Flip zucchini and place lamb skewers over medium high burner, turning every 2-3 minutes until desired doneness, about 6 minutes for medium.
  • Remove lamb and zucchini skewers to platter. Season to taste.
  • Place zucchini, onions and lamb atop saffron rice (or other grain or green). Top with mint, cilantro kefir sauce and garnish with pomegranate seeds.

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