Wildcard Winners

My Homestyle Lamb Shawarma

September  9, 2013

Every Monday and Wednesday, we'll announce a new Wildcard winner: a recipe that may not have been entered in (or won) a contest, but a recipe that we've tested and loved.

Today: Perfect shawarma -- from a roadside stand no more.

Lamb Shawarma from Food52

Shop the Story

WHO: Monkeymom is a scientist and avid home cook who lives in the Bay Area.

WHAT: A spicy, meaty masterpiece that's well worth the effort.

HOW: Marinate your lamb overnight -- then whizz together a green sauce, pickle carrots, grill up your meat, and pile it all into pitas.

WHY WE LOVE IT: All of this dish's components -- the lamb, the sauce, the pickles, the garnishes -- come together into one of the best sandwiches we've made in a long time. Make this now, while tomatoes and cucumbers are in season -- you won't regret it.

Lamb Shawarma from Food52

My Home-style Lamb Shawarma by monkeymom

Serves 4 to 6

Lamb preparation

1 teaspoon sumac
2 teaspoons cumin
4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3 pounds lamb leg, deboned and butterflied
1 green bell pepper
3 garlic cloves, sliced thinly

Pickled Carrots and Spicy Green Sauce

2 carrots, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt

1 serrano chili pepper
1/2 cup parsley
1/2 cup cilantro
2 garlic cloves
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt

Lettuce, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1/2 cucumber, cut into small chunks
Pita breads (freshest you can find)
Tahini or Yoghurt & Spinach Dip, 'Borani Esfanaaj', in the Persian Manner

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

Photos by James Ransom