Lamb, figs and rosemary are the ultimate combination and if you throw them on the grill with a little olive oil and garlic you might just think you have died and gone to heaven!
I know from my friend Sandra Jonas that the figs in her garden are almost ready for the table. When I came across this 2008 recipe from Mark Bittman in the New York Times online I thought enough of it to sacrifice one of my allotted free clicks. I was not disappointed.
The only suggestions I would offer when making this recipe, is to marinade the lamb in olive oil, garlic and rosemary for an hour or two before grilling. A small amount of mustard wouldn't hurt either.
Also make sure you skewer the figs separate from the lamb as they take half the time on the grill and you don't want them to get too mushy by overcooking.
Things have been quite busy at the lake with more visitors this weekend and more expected the next. We are up to our ears in peaches and just as I thought I had seen the last for awhile, my daughter showed up yesterday with another dozen. Peach ice cream and jam have been on the menu the last couple of days and I will be delighted to change gears when the figs come to market; although something tells me we haven't seen the last of the peach pies for at least another month!
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
2 pounds boneless lamb shoulder, cut into chunks
10 to 20 fresh figs
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, more or less
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary.
1. Start a charcoal or wood fire or heat a gas grill; fire should be moderately hot. Thread lamb and figs onto rosemary branches, three or four chunks or figs per skewer. Do not mix meat and figs on same skewer.
2. Brush lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Mix together the lemon juice, garlic and minced rosemary and brush a little of this mixture on lamb and figs.
3. Grill, turning skewers as each side browns and taking care to avoid flare-ups; total cooking time should be from 6 to 10 minutes for medium-rare meat, and 4 or 5 minutes for the figs. Meat will become slightly more done after you remove it from grill, so take this into account.
Photo: Evan Sung, NYT