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Category: Mains

Lamb tartare with fried chickpeas, oil-cured olives and cumin flatbread

Lamb tartare with fried chickpeas, oil-cured olives and cumin flatbread
Los Angeles Times

Big, crisp flatbread fragrant with warm spices. A trio of fabulous dips -- fresh fava "hummus" garnished with a dollop of Lebanese yogurt and sprinkled with sumac; a rich, ripe-flavored cherry tomato confit; smoky-tasting baba ghanouj topped with spicy harissa. ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour, plus 1 hour, 25 minutes rising time | Serves 6
Note: From Suzanne Goin of Lucques. To save time, make the harissa while the flatbreads rise.

Cumin flatbread

  • 1 tablespoon dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 teaspoons crushed, toasted coriander seeds
  • 2 teaspoons crushed, toasted cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon sliced mint
  • 1 tablespoon sliced parsley

Step 1In a mixer bowl, combine the yeast, sugar and water and let proof in a warm place, about 10 minutes.

Step 2In a bowl, combine the flour and salt. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to the yeast mixture and turn the mixer on to the lowest speed. Gradually add the flour and mix until the dough comes together in a ball. Do not over-mix.

Step 3Place the dough in a bowl and brush on a little oil. Cover and let the dough rise until double its size. Punch down the dough and let it rise again.

Step 4Cut the dough into 12 to 14 portions. Shape into small, round flatbreads with your fingers and season with the remaining olive oil, coriander, cumin, mint and parsley. Let the flatbreads rise for 10 minutes and then grill (or cook in a cast-iron skillet) over high heat on both sides until crisp and cooked through, about 2 to 3 minutes per side.


  • 6 ancho chiles, seeded, membranes removed
  • 1/2 cup San Marzano diced canned tomatoes
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 cup toasted cumin seeds
  • Large pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sherry vinegar
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon

Step 1Heat a large saute pan over high heat for 1 minute. Add the chiles and toast until they are blistered and slightly darkened. Place the chiles in a bowl and cover with very hot water. Let them sit, covered, for 15 minutes.

Step 2Return the pan to the stove and add the tomatoes. Cook over medium heat for a few minutes until the juices reduce and the tomato is slightly darkened.

Step 3Drain the chiles well and place them in a food processor with the tomatoes, garlic, paprika, cumin, cayenne, vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt and a pinch of pepper. Puree until well combined. With the motor running, slowly pour in the olive oil and blend until incorporated. Season with a generous squeeze of lemon juice and more salt if desired. Yields 1 1/4 cups.

Lamb tartare and assembly

  • 12 ounces trimmed lamb sirloin, finely chopped by hand
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 teaspoons diced shallots
  • 1/4 teaspoon, heaping, ground toasted cumin
  • 2 tablespoons harissa, divided
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley, plus 3 tablespoons sliced parsley
  • 2 teaspoons chopped mint, plus 1 tablespoon sliced mint
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup pitted oil-cured olives, sliced
  • 1/2 lemon
  • Cumin flatbread
  • Kosher salt

Step 1Place the lamb in a bowl and season with one-fourth teaspoon salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Add the shallots, cumin and 1 tablespoon harissa. Stir well to combine. Taste for balance and seasoning. Stir in the chopped parsley and mint. Chill until ready to serve.

Step 2Pour 2 tablespoons olive oil into a medium pan and heat 2 minutes, until very hot. Add the chickpeas and fry them 4 to 5 minutes, shaking the pan often, until they are crisp. Drain on paper towels and season with a few pinches of salt and some pepper.

Step 3Divide the lamb into 6 portions. Using the back of a spoon, press each portion into a 2 1/4 -inch ring mold set on a large plate.

Step 4Toss the olives and chickpeas in a bowl with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice and a pinch of black pepper. Gently toss in the sliced parsley and mint and scatter the mixture over one side of the tartare and onto each plate. Dollop about 1/2 teaspoon harissa on the other side. Serve with the cumin flatbread.

Each serving:
637 calories; 22 grams protein; 70 grams carbohydrates; 6 grams fiber; 31 grams fat; 5 grams saturated fat; 32 mg. cholesterol; 796 mg. sodium.
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