Appetizer & First Course
Pepper-Crusted Lamb with Hummus and Tapenade
on Grilled Pita
2lbs trimmed lamb top round or loin
fresh ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
Cut the lamb into 2-3 even strips. Rub with the balsamic vinegar, then the olive oil. Sprinkle lightly with salt and then coat evenly with the freshly ground black pepper. Heat a non-stick sauté pan over medium high heat. Add just enough oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pan, then add the lamb and sear very well on all sides. Place in 350°F oven for 4-5 minutes, or until the internal temperature is 125°F. Remove from the oven and cool in the refrigerator. When completely cool, slice very thinly.
To set up: Place the pita bread on a serving plate. Place 1 heaping teaspoon of hummus on top, then 1-2 slices of lamb and top with the tapenade. Garnish with fresh herbs.
2 cans (15 ½ oz) chick peas, drained-reserve liquid
3 cloves garlic, chopped
6 Tbsp tahini
6 Tbsp lemon juice
¼ extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp cayenne pepper
salt to taste
chopped parsley or green onions optional
Place the chick peas, chopped garlic, tahini, olive oil, and lemon juice in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times and with a rubber spatula, scrape down the sides. Continue to process until the mixture is smooth. Add some of the reserved liquid if it is too thick. Then add the spice and salt to taste. You may need to add more lemon juice or olive oil.
¾ cup Kalamata olives, pitted, rinsed and drained
1 Tbsp caper, drained and chopped
2 small cloves garlic, chopped
2 Tbsp chopped roasted red pepper
2 tsp chopped Italian parsley
1 tsp chopped fresh oregano
Chop the olives on a cutting board until they any finely diced. Add all the other chopped ingredients and finish chopping together to incorporate into a paste. Place in a bowl and set aside.
5 pita bread
Heat a grill to medium heat. Brush the pita with the oil and then place on the grill turning after 1 minute to mark both sides. Remove from the heat and cool slightly. Cut each pita into 8 wedges.