Friday, October 23, 2009

Quick, what's for dinner? Lamb "Tagine" Kabobs

It's not often that I get to grill dates and olives...ok, I'd never grilled dates or olives before this.  And while I know that technically the grilling season is over, this dish is very much fall-themed.  A "tagine" dish typically refers to the conical lidded dish used throughout Northern Africa.  The food slow cooks in the tagine with spices, olives and often dates (and preserved lemon but I didn't have that).  I decided to forgo spending the $60 + for a tagine (for now) and see what a the grill would do for the same ingredients! 

I start with the marinade for the lamb.  Dried oregano, chili flakes, a few crushed garlic cloves, fresh mint & fennel fronds, lemon juice and ground coriander and cinnamon are added to a pound of cubed lamb along with sea salt and pepper.  It marinates for an hour and then gets skewered with alternating pitted Medjool dates and pitted Kalamata olives (the stick goes right thru the holes!).

Brush with olive oil and it's on to the grill with fingers crossed!  I'm worried the dates will shrivel into burnt gooey raisins or the olives will fall off the skewers...but all is well so far...  I place directly over coals/flame until desired doneness is attained.  This depends on your grill and can be 10 or 20 mins.  The results were fantastic: the dates became nicely caramelized, the olives smoky.  It's worth it to brush the leaves off the grill one more time... I served mine with pan-friend whole mushrooms dressed in butter and fresh tarragon and a plum chutney on the side!

Oh happy day!

Lamb Tagine on Foodista


  1. The kabobs look delicious, I love kebabs, gyros and the likes!

  2. Great idea including the dates and olives on the kebobs... looks delicious!

  3. This is so beautiful! I've never grilled dates or olives before but now would love to try both!

  4. Nice! Lamb is my flexitarian weakness-one of the reasons I can't just be a vegetarian.
    I'm going to look at your recipe a bit more closely...


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