There is something about the Greek way of grilling lamb, marinated in lemon, garlic, salt, pepper and fragrant dried oregano, that makes it irresistible and utterly delicious.
The anticipation (and aroma) while the spit slowly turns is part of the pleasure . . . knowing that there will be a fine meal to come.
This time I selected a smallish 4+ pound bone-in leg, minus the shank portion, I like to roast it slowly for maximum juiciness and flavor, so I use the 'indirect method' of roasting the meat on the Weber gas grill. (Front and back burner on medium heat, center burner in the off position.)
To go along, I served lemon-scented orzo with toasted pine nuts, and one of my favorite summer salads ~ Greek, with lots of goodies from the veggie garden; red tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, herbs as well as some marinated locally produced Feta cubes, a mix of Greek olives, and onion, all tossed with a fragrant red wine vinegar & herb vinaigrette.
It is one of my favorite meals, we don't have it often and we really savor it when we do.
HOWEVER . . .
The thing about lamb is that I don't find it anywhere near as appealing when served as leftovers. Unless, that is, it's thinly sliced, gently warmed and served in warm pita pocket bread with lots of other flavorful goodies tucked in.
Where I live the freshest pita bread comes from my own oven ~ If you've never made it you might be surprised to learn how fun and easy it is to make your own. This time I used 50% 00 Italian flour and 50% home-milled whole wheat flour.
You can use a bread machine, stand mixer, or food processor to make the dough, or mix it by hand if you prefer. (There is a link at the bottom of the page for the pita bread recipe.)
As I mentioned, I'm not so fond of lamb leftovers, so when making a lamb roast, I always plan on making pita bread too, for the leftovers.
(See the grapes in the background? We planted the vines three years ago and this is the first crop!) Can you tell I'm excited?! :D
They are so sweet and juicy . . . wish I could share some with you.
When assembling the stuffed pita sandwiches I add lots of other flavorful goodies and just a few thin slices of the warmed lamb.
Slices of red and yellow tomatoes, cucumbers, and baby salad greens from the garden (see below.) Thin slices of sweet purple onion, and a generous spoonful of tzatziki (cucumber & garlic, and sometimes dill, in plain yogurt) then sprinkled with ground Sumac* to add a bright finish.
Incidentally, this is the first year I've grown this particular variety of yellow tomatoes; the name is 'Lemon Boy' ~ I highly recommend! Medium to medium-large size they are bright yellow, meaty and juicy with few seeds and a nice, mild low-acid flavor.
Yum! You might keep them in mind for next year.
*Sumac? I love that stuff! It's delicious sprinkled on vegetables eggs, rice & other grains, pizza, chicken, fish and any kind of meat. Just a little sprinkle before serving really adds a nice bright flavor, to almost anything. It's slightly lemony and not spicy at all.
As many of you know our property is located in thickly wooded forest land ~ so most of our vegetables and herbs are raised in raised beds and containers.
One of the things I like to plant each spring is a large container of baby mixed salad greens, I keep this one on the back deck near the kitchen door. This one grows well under a huge Douglas Fir tree which the deck was built around.
You can cut a few leaves from each plant and they will continue to grow, or you cut the entire plant and grow another pot or two, each two weeks apart, for successive harvests. The other advantage of planting these tender lettuces in pots is that you can move them to the shade in the hottest part of the day to prevent them from bolting (going to seed) prematurely.
(My kitty is old and she doesn't climb up to sample the greens, but it you have active pets, you might want to elevate the pots.)
I picked this particular mixed packet of seeds at a local (& ordinary) hardware store/nursery. This one is offered by Plantation Products (in MA.), it's called "Italian Salad Blend" and contains 6 different Italian lettuces:
Foglia di Quercia Rossa
Meraviglia delle quattro Stagione
Rossa di Trento
Along with other Italian varieties of greens:
Chicory: Pallo Rossa & Castelfranco
Endive: di ruffec & Cornetto di Bordeaux
Spinach: Riccio d'Asti & Gigante d'Inverno
Swiss Chard: Argentata
You can allow the plant to grow to full mature size, but I prefer to harvest when the leaves are small and tender. We liked the variety, and I would definitely plant this mix again.
I'll miss you Greek Salad ~
It won't be much longer until we have to say good-bye until next summer.
(By the way, this salad is also fabulous tucked into a pita pocket either plain or with some tzatziki spooned over, and you can add tuna, sliced chicken, sliced hard cooked egg, etc. to add protein.)
If you would like the recipe for the 50% Whole Wheat Pita bread, you'll find it over on the OUaP recipe blog, click here.
Thanks for stopping by friends! I hope you have a very nice weekend.
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About my recipes ~
Hi and welcome! I'm a long-time cook and tend to improvise often, adjusting recipes to my own taste. Usually I'll describe how I put the dish together so you can make it the way you like it.
I have cataloged some of the recipes in a printable format on my recipe blog, Once Upon a Plate ~ the recipes. Please LEFT-MOUSE click HEREif you would like to see what is available there.
Thank you so much for stopping by, and for any comments you would like to share. I read and appreciate every one! :)