Prep Time: 15 minutes + 30 minutes soaking time
Cooking Time: 15-20 minutes
Serves: makes 6-8
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Fruity & Spicy Lamb Kebabs with coriander pestoAs a child, our family went through a phase where we often braaied an assortment of ”sosaties” (kebabs). One I remember in particular, was a lamb and dried fruit combination. Come to think of it, we haven’t had fruity lamb kebabs in years! I think my mom marinated them in a curried chutney mixture, it was pretty delish.
So with that memory is mind, I thought I’d bring my version to the table. Firstly, I make a homemade spice rub for the cubed lamb steak and I soak a selection of Cecilia’s Farm dried fruit (Bon Chretien Pears, Elberta Peaches, Royal Apricots and Pitted Prunes) in hot rooibos tea for 30 minutes to allow the fruit to soften and absorb some South African flavour. The spiced lamb cubes and soaked fruit are skewered alternately onto kebab sticks together with some red onion leaves, then ready to grill on a moderately hot griddle pan or over coals. Delicious served with a vibrant coriander pesto made with Cecilia’s Farm MD & founder’s favourite (and mine), Smoked Almonds. I love how soft, squishy and caramelised the fruit becomes and how their sweet and tart flavours are accentuated and marry beautifully with the lamb spices and the freshness (and slight smokiness) of the pesto. It truly is a delight to eat served with a couscous salad packed with chickpeas, feta, herbs and roasted butternut. It’s the perfect meal for any season!

Lamb and fruit kebabsFruity & Spicy Lamb Kebabs with Coriander Pesto

Ingredients:
6-8 Dried Bon Chretien Pears
6-8 Dried Elberta Peaches
6-8 Pitted Prunes
6-8 Dried Royal Apricots
1 cinnamon quill/stick
1 L strong hot rooibos tea

6-8 wooden meat skewers, soaked in cold water for 30 minutes

Rub:

5 ml coriander seeds
5 ml cumin seeds
2.5 ml black mustard seeds
4 caradamom pods, crushed open
5 ml black peppercorns
2.5 ml dried chilli flakes
2.5 ml coarse salt
2.5 ml dried rosemary
2.5 ml dried oregano
2 ml smoked paprika

800 g lamb steak (ask your local butcher ), diced into 4 cm cubes
30 ml olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 small red onions, cut into quarters then separated into leaves

Coriander Pesto [Makes +- 250 ml] :
60 g fresh coriander leaves
50 g Cecilia’s Farm Smoked Almonds
1 fat clove garlic
a pinch of dried chilli flakes (optional)
juice and zest of 1 lemon
5 ml white wine vinegar
50 g feta cheese, crumbled
+- 180 ml olive oil
Freshly milled salt and pepper to taste

Method:
Place the dried fruit and cinnamon stick  in a large shallow dish and cover with rooibos tea. Allow to steep for at least 30 minutes or until the fruit softens.
In a small pan, toast the coriander, cumin, mustard seeds and caradamom until fragrant. Remove and grind with remaining herbs and spice using a pestle and mortar.
Rub the spice mixture onto the meat and allow to stand at room temperature while preparing the pesto and waiting for the fruit to soften.
For the pesto: In a food processor, blend the coriander leaves, almonds, garlic, chilli, lemon and vinegar together until it resembles a chunky pesto consistency. Add the feta, then slowly add the oil until desired consistency is reached. Season well with salt and pepper. Spoon into a jar, seal and chill in the fridge until ready for use.
Remove fruit from rooibos tea. Rub the olive oil and garlic onto the spiced lamb.
With the soaked kebab sticks, skewer the lamb and soaked fruit alternately with the red onion leaves. You should have 1 of each fruit on each kebab.
Heat a griddle pan until smoking hot, then grill over moderate heat for 15- 20 minutes (for medium-rare), turning the kebabs every 2 minutes. These can also be done over moderately hot coals. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Serve with coriander pesto and a simple couscous salad with chickpeas, roasted butternut, herbs and feta.

lamb and fruit kebabs and coriander pestoCecilia's Farmsmoked almonds[Disclaimer: I’m currently partnering with Cecilia’s Farm to develop a few recipes for them. I have been remunerated but all views are my own.]

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