Cast Iron

Lavender Lamb Kebobs (or Chops)

March 23, 2010
1 Ratings
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

I love me some lavender!! Lavender and garlic go wonderfully with lamb, coupled with weensey spring veggies like peas with mint, grilled ramps, delicate asparagus, tiny name it, couple of steamed new potatoes and a lovely rose it makes me feel oh so Frenchcountryside like. You can use any cut of lamb, a rack would be lovely, as would a leg, but chunks of shoulder work too if your budget does not permit luxuries at the moment. I can find truly wonderful local lamb in affordable "Kabob packets" at our Fair Food Farmstand. This recipe is for grilled Kabobs but feel free to use it as for grilled chops, rack, roast shoulder or with a leg. Ok as of today (3/24) got a great deal on boneless tied leg and made une petite lamb roast for me and my sweetie... the pics are attached ( with Amanda's crispy smooshed potatoes) —Aliwaks

Test Kitchen Notes

The spice mix is very interesting. The lavender is very strong -- it's definitely not something that everyone is going to love. I'd still recommend toning it down, but the spice from the red pepper flakes and all garlic and herbs give it some dimension. I did kebobs on rosemary sprigs (on my grill pan, finished in the oven). I like that Aliwaks gives you the freedom to do it with whatever cut you want. I think chops would be very lovely. - Stephanie —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 1/2 cup Dried organic lavender buds
  • 4 large cloves of garlic
  • 3/4 cup Olive oil, nice olive oil like your 2nd best
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes or aleppo pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Fresh Rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon Fresh Thyme
  • 1 tablespoon Honey
  • 1 tablespoon Citrus zest, I like grapefruit but lemon, orange or lime works too
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher Salt
  • 1 tablespoon Cracked Black pepper
  • 4 pounds Lamb Pieces/Cubes or 3-4 lamb chops per person, depending on the size
  • 4 BIG Sturdy Rosemary Branches stripped except for the top few fronds (optional) or 1 big rosemary sprig intact
  1. Combine everything but the lamb and additional rosemary branches in the blender or food processor and puree till it becomes a paste
  2. Smear it all over the lamb, put in a baggie and let marinate at least 1 day up to 3, smoosh the bag around, turn it upside down each time you go in the fridge (or every few times if you are especially snacky)
  3. For stunning kabobs: Poke a hole through each piece of lamb with a skewer, them thread the lamb on to a sturdy rosemary branch, If you try to just poke the rosemary through the lamb they could break, which can be disappointing.
  4. Grill over medium/high heat to your desired temp, I prefer medium rare. If making Chops you can lay a rosemary branch over them as the grill to get the same smoky greenness. I cook it until the internal temp reaches 130-135.
  5. If you are not ready to cook outside yet, preheat grill pan or cast iron pan , add drop of olive oil & whole rosemary sprig, sear lamb on each side till brown and them finish in the oven/
  6. Serve with tiny steamed new potatoes sprinkled with chives and baby peas with mint, tarragon and cream.
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Dima Haddad
    Dima Haddad
  • dymnyno
  • Lizthechef
  • TheWimpyVegetarian
  • aargersi

12 Reviews

JP July 25, 2015
I love this recipe. Thank you so much for sharing it. I've made it many times. It's filling, earthy, and very satisfying! I first became interested after I had a lavender lamb dish at the Novo Restaurant and Lounge in downtown San Luis Obispo, Ca. (If you're familiar with SLO you know they know fine dining!) I halve this recipe and use a 2+ lb rack of lamb. (Plenty, dining for two.) I've only ever cooked it on the outdoor grill. Have marinated up to 3 days, and found the flavors definitely intensify with longer times. My other variations came about in an attempt to lighten the earthiness of the lamb, if that's possible, and bring out more of the citrus notes. (...And because I love experimenting with recipes.)
They are:
*Lavender is strong, (I overused once), less can be sufficient.
*Olive oil (only 1/4 c for my amount of lamb) using a fine quality cold pressed evoo because lamb is so pungent and oily already.
*1 to 2 tbsp dry white wine, (I like Chardonnay)
*I don't halve the zest or "clover" honey.
*1 tsp dill weed, (helps freshen up the citrus).
*1/4 stalk celery, narrow end, or 1/2 tsp celery salt, (substitute for some of the kosher salt). Because I love the flavor of celery!
*A pinch of cinnamon, also helps push up the citrus aroma.
Dima H. July 2, 2013
I love lavender, and love everything related to lavender! but never thought of adding it to lamb, although i know it goes in a lot of recipes and herb mixes like "herbes de Provence" ... I gotta try this out, what about the quantity? isn't it too overpowering?
dymnyno March 27, 2010
I love lavender with grilled aromatic. Unfortunatly my lavender (Napa Valley, CA) does't really get growing until Summer. Right now it is starting to try a few buds but it has been a cold winter!
Lizthechef March 23, 2010
Why did I never think about lavender with meat, only for baking? I've got a gardenful, about 4 kinds, just to have something flowering in the hot part of the front garden. Thanks and what a lovely photo!
Aliwaks March 23, 2010
Lavender is really nice with chicken too, my aunt makes lavender olive oil from her crop and does a gorgeous roast chicken with it, also really nice with fish, something sturdy like halibut. Lavender is a component of herbes du provence, so I think it goes well with almost anything you would use that mixture with.
TheWimpyVegetarian March 23, 2010
You beat me to it! I made a lavender rub with some of the same ingredients you did and grilled some lamb chops with it. I thought a little lavender would go a long way, but was wrong, so hadn't posted it until I got it right. The portions you have here feel right on to me. And love the addition of the honey!
aargersi March 23, 2010
YUM! I have a BIG rosemary bush and also a lavendar plant - how do you feel about fresh lavendar??? (I also have warm temps and sunshine thanks Mother Nature!!!)
Aliwaks March 23, 2010
Ya know I've never been able to grow enough lavender to use fresh, I rely on generous donations from my mom & my aunt sandy who are far superior gardeners than I, they send me great bagfuls every summer. You should try it, not sure if the essential oils concentrate when they are dry or not, let me know (it will be so pretty garnished with fresh lavender buds!!!)
mrslarkin March 23, 2010
I love lavender! This sounds so great. 1/2 cup is a LOT though! Are you sure about that quantity? I'm nervous...
Aliwaks March 23, 2010
Mrs Larkin, I grab a handful out of the big bag I have and it feels like half a cup, I'm going to make this before the deadline and will adjust if necessary.
Aliwaks March 23, 2010
Mrs. L, just made the marinade and measured out a 1/2 cup rather than a "fistful", tastes far
Aliwaks March 24, 2010
Yes way too much marinade for 1.5# of meat, I adjusted the amount of meat to 4#