Harissa-Marinated Lamb Skewers with Grilled Eggplant Toast and Tomato Salad

Source: Sarah Henkin, CUESA's Market Chef.

Recipe Type: | Seasons:

Serves 4-6


5 ancho chiles, seeded and destemmed
¼ teaspoon cumin seeds
2 large garlic cloves, one left whole the other finely sliced
1 red, ripe tomato, halved and seeded
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
Healthy pinch cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar, plus a splash more for eggplant
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
Kosher salt, to taste
¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for eggplant and tomatoes
½ pound mixed tomatoes (we used heirlooms, cherry, and sungolds)
Sea salt, to taste
2-3 purple eggplants, preferably Japanese or Chinese
8 thin slices of bread
2 sprigs of fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked and finely sliced
4 sprigs fresh cilantro, leaves picked and finely sliced
1 ½ pounds lamb, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes


  1. Make harissa: toast chiles in a hot pan, add to a large bowl and cover with hot water.  Let sit for about 15 minutes.  Toast cumin seeds in the same pan until just fragrant, grind using a mortar and pestle or in a spice grinder. Drain chiles and add to a blender with cumin, garlic, tomato, smoked paprika, cayenne, vinegar and lemon juice. Add a pinch of salt and puree until smooth.  Drizzle in ¾ cup olive oil with blender running.  Taste and add more salt and/or lemon juice as needed.

  2. Add lamb cubes to a large bowl and toss with a couple teaspoons salt, add some of the harissa –just enough to coat the lamb – and toss to combine well. You will have leftover harissa which will keep in the refrigerator for about a week.
  3. For the tomatoes:  Remove stems from all tomatoes, if any have a thick core, remove it/them. Cut cherry tomatoes in half and large tomatoes into chunks. Add to a bowl, sprinkle with sea salt and olive oil.  Set aside
  4. For the eggplant:  Remove tops from eggplant and thinly slice cross-wise.  Add to a bowl and toss with olive oil and kosher salt.  Repeat in a separate bowl with the bread
  5. Heat grill or grill pan to medium high heat.  Remove lamb from marinade and separate evenly onto 8 skewers.  Once grill is ready, place lamb on and grill for about 5-7 minutes, turning regularly. Remove to a platter to rest. Place bread on grill.  Toast on both sides until just starting to char, set aside.
  6. Place eggplant slices on grill, cook turning once until completely soft.  While eggplant is cooking, add thinly sliced garlic to a bowl along with a splash of red wine vinegar and herbs, whisk in olive oil so that you have just enough vinaigretteto coat the eggplant then season with kosher salt.  When eggplant is done, toss in the bowl with the vinaigrette.  Top each piece of toast with some of the eggplant.
  7. To serve: Place eggplant toasts on a large platter.  Top with the lamb skewers.  Toss tomatoes with the crumbled feta cheese and scatter around the periphery of the platter. Serve.


Farmers Market Ingredients