Hommus ma Lahm
Executive Chef Michael Costa
Now that hummus has made its way from Mediterranean menus to mainstream fast casuals, chefs at more authentic Middle Eastern restaurants are creating new signatures. At Zaytina in Washington, D.C., executive chef Michael Costa tops his with spiced ground lamb and pickled vegetables for a more robust version of the dish. He also spells the chickpea-based dip “hommus” on the menu—another authentic touch.
Spiced ground lamb
1 tsp. canola oil
1 lb. ground lamb
Kosher salt, to taste
1 tbsp. tomato paste
1 tsp. all-purpose flour
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp. freshly ground allspice
½ tsp. freshly ground cumin
2 cups chicken stock
3 cups hommus
1 tsp. sesame seeds, lightly toasted
2 tbsp. pine nuts, roasted in oven until lightly browned
2 sprigs fresh mint, chopped
½ cup pickled vegetables
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
4 pita breads, warmed
1. For lamb: In large sauté pan over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add lamb and season with salt; cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Remove lamb and drain off excess fat.
2. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add tomato paste; cook until a crust forms on bottom of pan, about 2 minutes. Add flour; cook until incorporated, about 1 minute. Stir in pepper, allspice and cumin; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
3. Add 1 cup stock; scrape bottom of pan, whisking together with stock until smooth. Add remaining stock and lamb; cook to combine and thicken, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt.
4. For hommus: in 4 wide, shallow bowls, spread hommus equally; sprinkle with sesame seeds. Spoon lamb into bowls. Divide nuts, mint, vegetables and oil on top. Serve with warm pita bread.
Photograph courtesy of American Lamb Board