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Grilled Lamb and Couscous Salad

If you can’t find Israeli couscous, substitute 1 1/2 cups instant couscous: Place in a heatproof bowl and bring 2 3/4 cups broth to a boil with the onion, salt and pepper; pour over the couscous, stir and let stand for 15 minutes. Or, boil 10 oz. orzo pasta until al dente, then drain and toss with the cooked onion, salt, pepper, olive oil, mint and lemon juice.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 lb. boneless leg of lamb, cut into thick slices
  • 2 Tbs. plus 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt, to taste, plus 1 tsp.
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 Tbs. canola oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups Israeli couscous
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh mint
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 oz. mixed baby greens

Directions:

Season the lamb
Place the lamb in a large baking dish and brush both sides with the 2 Tbs. olive oil. Season generously with salt and pepper and the thyme. Let stand for up to 1 hour at room temperature or up to 2 hours in the refrigerator (return to room temperature before cooking).

Cook the couscous
In a saucepan over medium heat, warm the canola oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the couscous and cook, stirring, until just beginning to brown, about 6 minutes. Add the broth, the 1 tsp. salt and a pinch of pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until the couscous is tender and all the liquid is absorbed, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the 1/4 cup olive oil and the mint.

Cook the lamb and assemble the salad
Prepare a gas or charcoal grill for direct grilling over high heat. Alternatively, preheat a grill pan over high heat. Place the lamb slices on the grill rack or in the grill pan and cook, turning once, for 2 to 3 minutes per side for rare or medium-rare. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Cut into thin strips.

Add the lemon juice to the couscous. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper, then fluff with a fork. Spoon the couscous onto individual plates and surround with the salad greens. Top with the lamb and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Salad, by Brigit L. Binns (Oxmoor House, 2007).