Lamb Kebabs in Pomegranate-Walnut Marinade

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This week, Louisa Shafia will serve as a Guest Editor at Food52. She'll be choosing a Wildcard winner, answering your questions on the Hotline, and sharing recipes from her new book, The New Persian Kitchen -- because your kitchen deserves a taste of the exotic every once in a while.

Lamb Kebabs

This sweet-and-sour kebab is from the Gilan Province in northern Iran, where people like their food extra tart. Its name in Farsi is "kebab-e torsh," or "pickled kebab," so named for the sour pomegranate marinade that gives it its flavor. The russet-colored marinade uses the same ingredients as the classic Persian stew known as Fesenjan, and is one of the tastiest discoveries I made while researching this book.

Before grilling the kebabs, brush off the extra marinade, because it can burn and leave charred flakes on the meat. You can also make these kebabs using beef sirloin, fish, chicken, tempeh, or vegetables. Start this recipe the day before you plan to serve it so that the kebabs can marinate overnight.

Lamb Kebabs in Pomegranate-Walnut Marinade

Serves 6

2 pounds lamb tenderloin or boneless shank or neck, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup walnuts
3/4 cups pomegranate molasses
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus extra chopped for garnish
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

(Vegetarian option: Replace the lamb with 2 pounds tempeh, cubed; 2 pounds vegetables, such as zucchini, red onions, and mushrooms, cubed; or a combination of tempeh and vegetables. Marinate overnight according to the recipe.)

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photo by Sara Remington