Serves 4–6 | Active cooking time 30 minutes | Recipe courtesy of Tusk
This dish is inspired by a traditional Lebanese recipe that mixes raw lamb with bulgur wheat, often served with lettuce cups and raw onion petals. Tusk restaurant uses freekeh in this recipe, which can be difficult to come by. Feel free to use a different grain, such as bulgur wheat, rye berry, farro, or barley. The freekeh in this recipe should be precooked on the stove by adding water to cover by 1 inch with a sprig of thyme, a bay leaf and one clove of garlic crushed. Bring to a boil and then simmer for one hour.
To add texture, Tusk makes vegetable chips from parsnips, sunchokes, beets, and potatoes. A fancy alternative to homemade chips is a bag of Terra chips. Regular potato chips will also do.
If you can, double the recipe. This is a great dip for raw vegetables, a sauce for fried fish, or a dressing on a sandwich. The possibilities are endless.
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 small garlic clove, minced or micro planed
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups thick Greek yogurt
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 tablespoons olive oil
Mix the lemon juice, garlic, and salt together. The acid and salt will help mellow out and bloom the garlic flavor. Let it sit 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and whisk until incorporated. The flavor of the cumin, black pepper, and turmeric should be strong. Set aside while you prepare the kibbe.
6 ounces lamb leg, cleaned of fat and sinew, ground or hand chopped into small pieces
1/4 cup cooked freekeh (or wheat substitute, see above)
1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
1/4 cup fennel, finely diced
1/4 cup radish, finely diced
1/4 cup mint, picked and roughly torn
1/4 cup parsley, picked and roughly torn
2–3 heads little gem lettuces
1 small onion, red or yellow, cut into quarters and separated into petals
2 lemons, cut into wedges, seeds removed
Jacobsen sea salt to taste
Mix lamb with olive oil, wheat, red onion, fennel, radish, and herbs. Add a big pinch of salt, like Jacobsen or Maldon, which adds a nice crunch and a mineral flavor you do not get from kosher salt. If neither are available, kosher salt will work great.
Place vegetable chips, turmeric yogurt, and kibbe naya in separate bowls. Garnish with individual gem lettuce leaves, quartered onion slices, and lemon wedges. Enjoy!