Lamb Souvlaki

Photo: Kate Sears

In this updated classic, lamb is marinated in lemon, rosemary, and oregano and grilled on skewers, then served with a tart tomato relish and peppery marinated feta.


For the Kebabs

  • cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • cup fresh lemon juice (from about 2 lemons)

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 boneless leg of lamb (about 2 ½ pounds), cut into 1- to 1 ½-inch pieces

  • 2 red onions, cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 1 lemon, cut into 8 wedges

  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

  • 8 whole pitas

For the Tomato Relish

  • 3 tomatoes, halved

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for brushing tomatoes

  • Coarse salt

  • 2 tablespoons minced shallot

  • ¼ cup water

  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

  • Pinch of cayenne pepper

For the Marinated Feta

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 thin strip (3 inches long) lemon zest

  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill

  • 1 teaspoon whole pink peppercorns

  • ¼ teaspoon black peppercorns, crushed

  • ½ teaspoon red-pepper flakes

  • 1 pound Greek feta, thinly sliced


  1. For the kebabs: Combine oil, lemon juice, herbs, and garlic. Combine marinade and lamb. Cover, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours (preferably overnight).

  2. Make the tomato relish: Preheat grill to medium-high. (If you are using a charcoal grill, coals are ready when you can hold your hand 5 inches above grill for just 3 or 4 seconds.) Brush tomatoes with oil, and season with salt. Grill until charred and softened, about 5 minutes per side. Coarsely chop, then place in a sieve set over a bowl. Let drain for 10 minutes. Discard liquid.

  3. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook shallot until translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add water and sugar, and simmer until liquid has reduced by half. Add tomatoes and vinegar, and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt and the cayenne. Let cool.

  4. Make the marinated feta: Combine oil, lemon zest and juice, dill, pink and black peppercorns, and red-pepper flakes in a nonreactive dish. Add feta, and turn to coat. Marinate until ready to serve (no longer than 1 hour or cheese will begin to break down).

  5. Thread lamb and onions onto 8 skewers, alternating. Thread a lemon wedge onto one end of each skewer. Season with salt and pepper. Grill until a meat thermometer inserted into lamb registers 130 degrees for medium-rare and onions and lemons are caramelized, about 5 minutes per side. To serve, place each kebab on top of a whole pita, pull out the skewer, and top lamb with relish. Crumble feta over top.

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