With a big, beautiful bowl of chermoula on hand and a searingly hot afternoon to contend with we enjoyed a late BBQ lunch on Sunday afternoon. The menu? Inspired by the Middle East. A crisp and refreshing fattoush salad paired with barbecued chermoula crusted lamb back-strap fillets. Very easy to prepare. Refreshing and delicious.
Fattoush is quintessential Middle Eastern peasant salad. Think of farmers and their bounteous vegetable gardens. Fill a bowl to the brim with fresh summer garden produce and crisp, crunchy shards of toasted pita bread. Drizzle with a tangy, garlicky dressing. There you have it. A beautiful summer salad.
Sumac gives the dressing a lovely fresh, lemony zing. This pretty purple spice is ground from the sumac berry and is available from Herbies Spices and any good providore. If you don’t have access to sumac, a good substitute is sweet paprika and lemon zest.
1 baby cos lettuce, shredded
2 Lebanese cucumbers, chopped into large dice
4 tomatoes, chopped into large dice
8 long green spring onions, chopped
4 tablespoons finely chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
2 tablespoons finely chopped mint
2 tablespoons finely chopped coriander
pita crisps made from 2 pita bread rounds
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons sumac
1 teaspoon sea salt flakes
a good grinding of pepper
100 ml extra virgin olive oil
100 ml lemon juice
MAKE the dressing first. Whisk all the ingredients in a bowl until well combined. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
PLACE chopped salad ingredients and pita crisps into a serving bowl.
DRIZZLE with the dressing and toss to combine.
Barbecued Chermoula Crusted Lamb
4 lamb back strap fillets
1/2 cup chermoula
SMEAR the chermoula paste over a large shallow plate. Add lamb and turn to coat well.
COVER with glad wrap and leave to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
HEAT BBQ hot plate. Add lamb and cook for 3 minutes on each side until seared. I like to place a sheet of baking paper under the lamb. Saves having to clean the hot plate later.
LOWER the BBQ lid and roast for a further 3-4 minutes using indirect heat until pink.
REMOVE lamb from the BBQ plate and set aside to rest for about 5 minutes.
SLICE the lamb on the diagonal and serve with a fattoush salad.