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.
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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.
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