Grilled Lamb Kebabs

Pairs well with Herold Coombsville Cabernet Sauvignon

Grilled Lamb Kebabs

Cooking a meal over a live fire is one of the most satisfying culinary experiences. In Napa Valley, we are lucky enough to enjoy this communal ritual all year long, but for many, the fleeting months of summer and early fall are the time to pull out the grill. I love big, expressive flavors, especially when they are simply prepared. This Middle Eastern inspired dish combines the savory goodness of barbecued lamb with the sweet freshness of garden peppers and tomatoes and the glitter of exotic spice. Gather your friends, pour around some glasses of Coombsville Cabernet and enjoy this fun recipe!


1 lb. 6 oz. fatty ground lamb
1 medium white onion, coarsely grated (¾ cup)
1 tbsp. finely chopped Italian parsley
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1½ tsp. ground cumin
1½ tsp. kosher salt
3 large garlic cloves, grated (1 tsp.)
1 tsp. ground sumac
½ tsp. fresh thyme
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
2 large tomatoes on the vine, quartered
1 white onion quartered and separated
1 red pepper cut into 2" squares
Slightly grilled flatbreads, such as pita, for serving
Labneh or thick plain yogurt, for serving
Pickled onions for serving
Vegetable oil, for grilling


In a large bowl, add the lamb, grated onion, parsley, olive oil, red pepper, cumin, salt, garlic, sumac, thyme, black pepper, and cinnamon. Use your hands to mix the kebab mixture until completely combined—refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.

Divide the meat into 8 equal portions. Mold each around a 10" skewer, forming 8" long, slightly flattened, sausage shapes.

Heat the grill over high heat, and brush the grates or pan lightly with vegetable oil.

Meanwhile, skewer tomato wedges, onions and peppers onto separate skewers and set aside.

When the grill is hot, add the kebabs and cook, rotating them carefully every few minutes, until evenly browned and slightly charred in places; 6–8 minutes. Transfer to a clean platter, and let rest a few minutes. Meanwhile, add the skewered tomatoes, onion and peppers and flatbreads to the grill and cook, turning occasionally, until the breads are warmed, and the tomatoes, onions, and peppers are softened and lightly charred on all sides; about 5 minutes. Transfer to the kebab platter, and serve warm with the labneh on the side.

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