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Dinner Tonight: Grilled Lamb Kebabs with Pistachio

[Photograph: Blake Royer]

For lots of Westerners, I suspect, the kebab is known as street food, discovered in New York or while studying abroad in Western Europe, where it's possible to travel from Dublin to Düsseldorf and sample all different styles of meat, filling, and bread (some better than others). That's how it was for me, anyway, and I have fond memories. So I was a little unsure how this recipe from Jamie Oliver would turn out, something created in my own kitchen. How could it compete with huge spit-roasted cones of meat and authentic recipes and wonderful memories?

I was first drawn by the ingredients list for the meat mixture: ground lamb stuffed with pistachios, lemon zest, and familiar spices like cumin. It sounded complex and textural, and the rest of the recipe was as simple as tossing some herbs and greens with lemon juice and thinly sliced red onion. Coincidentally, and old friend who traveled around Europe with me, a passionate kebab eater, was in town. So I decided to cook them and quietly let him serve as the litmus test. I'm happy to report the recipe passed easily: He ate it with great relish.

Grilled Lamb Kebabs with Pistachio

About the author: Blake Royer founded The Paupered Chef with Nick Kindelsperger, where he writes about food and occasional travels. After a year in Estonia, he's now living in Chicago.

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