Kebabs with Harissa, Yogurt and Fresh Herbs

From Matthew Altizer

2013 Jul/Aug

Metal skewers are well worth the investment – they don’t burn. You can use cubes of beef or chicken in place of the lamb. Serve family style with plenty of flatbread. Harissa is a spicy Moroccan chile paste available in specialty stores.



  • 2 T. dry sherry
  • 2 bay leaves, crumbled
  • 1 sprig of thyme, leaves picked
  • 1 pinch allspice
  • 1 t. hot smoked paprika
  • 2 garlic gloves, crushed
  • 2 t. salt
  • Harissa Sauce:
  • 4 T. harissa
  • 1 c. tomato purée
  • 2 t. lemon juice
  • salt to taste


  • 1 c. Greek yogurt
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed to a paste with salt
  • pita bread and fresh herbs – 1/2 c. parsley leaves, 1/4 c. each dill, tarragon leaves and mint leaves – for serving


Combine the lamb with the marinade ingredients
and let the mixture sit in the fridge for two hours. Meanwhile, in separate serving bowls, combine the ingredients for the harissa and yogurt sauces, season them to taste and set aside. Assemble the herbs on a plate, keeping them separate so people can choose the herbs they want.

Preheat the grill to medium-high, divide the meat among 4 large skewers or 8 small skewers and grill for about 5 minutes, turning once, until lightly charred on the outside but still slightly soft to the touch and cooked to your preferred doneness. Transfer the kebabs to a serving platter and serve piled into pita topped with the yogurt, harissa sauce and fresh herbs on top. Serves 4.