Lamb Salad with Cumin Vinaigrette
Cumin may be my favorite spice, probably because I love Mexican and Indian cuisines so much, where it’s ubiquitous. This recipe caught my attention because the lamb is rubbed with cumin, and the vinaigrette contains cumin. It’s a cumin celebration!
Sang Yoon of Food and Wine, is this recipe’s author. He writes, “Lamb seasoned with cumin is very Indian, as well as Sichuan and Yunnan. But no one is Asia would serve lamb on a salad; that’s just me being Californian!” you can read about chef Sang Yoon here.
Well the salad is fabulous, the vinaigrette is wonderful, and I love lamb. So this salad was the bomb!!!
Grilled Lamb Salad with Cumin Vinaigrette
One 1-pound piece boneless leg of lamb, about 3 inches thick
1/4 cup vegetable oil, plus more for rubbing
1 tablespoons ground cumin
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon honey or agave nectar
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
Freshly ground white pepper
4 cups thinly sliced romaine lettuce
One 6-ounce piece of jicama, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1 large carrot, cut into matchsticks
1 medium seedless cucumber, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1/2 cup shredded basil, plus 4 sprigs
1 large shallot, sliced
Light a grill. Rub the lamb with oil, sprinkle with 1 1/2 teaspoons of the cumin and season with salt and black pepper. Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the vinegar, honey, mustard and the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons of cumin. Whisk in the 1/4 cup of oil and season with salt and white pepper.
Grill the lamb over moderate heat, turning a few times, until charred and medium-rare, about 12 minutes. Transfer the lamb to a carving board; let rest for 5 minutes.
In a large bowl, toss the romaine with the jicama, carrot, cucumber, shredded basil and shallots.
Add the dressing and toss well. Transfer to plates.
Thinly slice the lamb and arrange the slices on the salad.
Garnish with the cilantro and basil sprigs and serve.
What really stood out, besides the vinaigrette, was the wonderful combination of the jicama, cucumbers, basil and cilantro. It was almost like a spa salad with lamb!
That looks amazing! The lamb is so perfectly prepared and grilled. I just had lamb neck for the breakfast today :-)
Oh nice. I love lamb. Such great flavor.
A beautiful and hearty salad! The lamb looks beautifully cooked.
Thanks! Lamb is just so good to me.
What a great salad! We often do grilled steak on a bed of greens, but rarely lamb. Need to try this! Thanks. :-)
Exactly. That’s what attracted me to this recipe. Plus the cumin!
Nice and tasty looking, Mimi. I must try the vinaigrette!
Definitely going to make this. I love lamb and, like you, am a huge fan of cumin. Question – did you butterfly the 3-inch thick piece of lamb? It looks to be about 1-inch thick, which would make sense with your grilling times.
I should have made note to that. It was butterflied for me, and this is how it came out. There were only a couple of spots that were 3” thick; the rest was thinner, as you noted. Lamb and cumin was/is a fabulous combination!
Thanks! This is now on our menu for next week!
we don’t eat lamb but this does look tasty mimi. I guess you could always use a bit of beef or chicken …
You could. Beef and cumin also go well together!
I love using cumin as well, and the lamb looks like perfection to me.
Thank you! It was a recipe definitely worth making!
Speaking of “no one would serve lamb on a salad,” I’ve certainly never heard of it! But why not! It sounds delicious. And I love cumin’s earthy flavor.
Right. But boy is it good! Especially all cumin’d up. Love the dressing, too!
I’m not too fond of lamb, but I love cumin, and think the vinaigrette sounds wonderful. My son and daughter-in-law love lamb, and I’m definitely forwarding this recipe to them. I already know they’ll be wild about it. :-) We have “lamb discussions” almost every time I visit. I think I disappoint them. LOL!
Well, I’m the “adventurous” eater in my family, so I understand. I can’t serve a lot of food that I enjoy, which is why I make it for the blog!
Really enjoy lamb and it must be scrumptious with the addition of Cumin – another favourite spice.
Would be brilliant served over salad with lamb being such a delicate flavoured meat. :))
It was a darn good salad! I loved everything about it.
Lamb and all these are fairly Greek ingredients but this post scratched an itch I didn’t even know was there. I’m on a Greek island and have had no protein-based salad anything (a staple in my LA life) for a couple of months. This is also one of the first blog I’ve visited in the same amount of time. I wonder if that means I’ve begun to miss my regular life. GREG
Huh. Well, that’s not a bad thing. You’ve had an incredible time, but it’s always nice to go home!
Huge lamb lovers here! I love how to opened up the lamb for a quicker grill. Great idea and delicious salad.
I actually ordered a de-boned lamb leg, because the time I tried to do it myself was a disaster…
Cumin is wonderful. It’s a key ingredient in a couple of my tried-and-true recipes but after seeing this post, I realize I don’t think to use it enough–will have to change this. Love this salad!
Ha! I must not use it enough as well!
I adore cumin too, in fact it was the first spice I ran out of whilst in Spain last month. The lamb looks wonderful, perfectly cooked. I love meat on a salad too.
It’s a very necessary spice to own – so good in so many kinds of dishes!
Wow that lamb looks perfectly cooked!
Thank you Raymond!
This salad looks terrific – perfectly cooked, juicy, and so inviting lamb. And this Cumin Vinaigrette? Very interesting!
I love how Cumin is the star ingredient in this vinaigrette! I cannot wait to try this!
I’ve used cumin in citrus dressings, but never in a vinaigrette. It was fabulous!
This salad looks terrific – perfectly cooked, juicy, and so inviting lamb. And this Cumin Vinaigrette? Very interesting
It was interesting, which was why I had to make it. I’m so glad I did!
Everything about this salad looks and sounds fantastic. I would have to agree with you about cumin. It’s probably my favorite. What a perfect spice for so many recipes. You’ve got my mouth watering for this dish now.
I was surprised how good this was, and like you, I love cumin and use it a lot!
A vinaigrette with cumin? Well that sounds quite fantastic! I’ve never thought about using cumin in vinaigrette, but I can see how the flavors would come together here.
I know – that really got my attention. And it’s really good!
I love lamb and this salad looks fancy and fresh! Can’t wait to try it out myself!
You’ll be very happy!
Cumin is my favorite spice as well. I can’t add much to all the comments already made as I agree with most of them. I’ve never added it in a vinaigrette before though, what a great idea. I think I would have to portion out a half-boneless leg of lamb to get one that small.
Overall, this was one fabulous recipe. I love cumin!