Crispy Lamb Salad with Yogurt Dressing

Crispy Lamb Salad with Yogurt Dressing

Summer Salad

Salads don’t have to be boring, especially when you have one loaded with tender, crispy American lamb. Loaded with Mediterranean flavor and flair including olives, feta, sweet dates, juicy summer tomatoes and topped with a creamy and tangy yogurt dressing.

Let’s talk lamb – lamb is such a crucial part of my heritage and Mediterranean cuisine. A protein that tends to get overlooked by many home cooks. American lamb is truly a superfood with so many benefits and a huge reason my family enjoys several times a month.

This post is sponsored by the American Lamb Board, all opinions and ideas are my own.

Why Choose American Lamb

  • A 3 oz. serving of American Lamb is naturally nutrient rich. It’s packed with an array of essential nutrients. On average, American Lamb is an excellent source of protein, zinc, selenium, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B12, and vitamin B6.
  • A 3 ounce serving of lamb delivers 23 grams of protein – almost 50% of your daily protein needs.
  • A 3 oz. serving of American lamb contains 3 grams of heart healthy monounsaturated fat. 57% percent of the fat in American lamb is heart healthy monounsaturated fat.
  • On average, a 3 ounce serving of American Lamb is lean and has only 160 calories. Lean cuts of American lamb include the leg, loin, and shoulder.

Information cited from American Lamb Board

It’s easy to see why my family chooses American lamb, not to mention choosing American Lamb supports our local ranchers, which they need more than ever right now. I can feel good about feeding my family while supporting a local business and ultimately get the freshest meat for my family.

Cuts of Lamb

Many people are intimidated by cooking lamb, but it’s really no different than any other protein. Knowing your cuts and how to cook them are important to get the ultimately flavor and texture. Ground lamb is the easiest cut to work with, especially for someone who may be intimidated to try a new type of protein. Recipes like Lamb Kofta Burger, Mediterranean Lamb Bowl or Sfeeha all use ground lamb.

We’re going to elevate this salad and instead of using ground lamb, we’re taking it to the next level and cooking up some lamb shoulder chops.

The shoulder chops are a exactly as they sound – the shoulder of the lamb. This meat is absolutely succulent and tender when cooked for a longer period of time. I like to cook them similar to how I would cook shanks. For this salad we have 2 methods to choose from: an electric pressure cooker or boiling. Both yield the same results and virtually hands off cooking. You can find a guide to cook all cuts of lamb here on the American Lamb Board page.

Ingredients

Okay, onto the salad. Once you have your delicious, tender, succulent lamb – the rest is just assembly. I like to cook my lamb when I have them time, maybe over the weekend and then pop in the fridge so have all week to create this salad. Here are some of the items we’re going to need.

  • Lamb Shoulder – Just before assembling our salad we’re going to give that tender cooked lamb a quick sear in the pan to get it a little crispy. It really takes it to another level!
  • Lettuce – You can really use any type of lettuce you have on hand. I love romaine for its crunch but also enjoy a spring mix or a mix of red and green leaf lettuce.
  • Feta – One of our absolute favorite cheeses and heavily used in Mediterranean dishes. Feta can stand up to the rich flavor of lamb and really give the dish a nice briny flavor. You can always sub goat cheese or even a sharp manchego if feta isn’t your thing.
  • Olives – When thinking about this salad, we’re thinking a full meal – so adding components like olives gives the salad body and again that briny flavor can hold up to the lamb and really enhance its flavor.
  • Tomatoes – We’re in the peak of tomato season so I love to add them to any salad. In the winter months you can absolutely sub out some sun-dried tomatoes in their place – I prefer the ones in oil for a tender texture.
  • Fresh Mint – Something about fresh mint mixed in a salad really takes it to another level. Those little bites are so refreshing. If you have some, definitely throw a few leaves in!
  • Dates – I love having something sweet in my salads, it really helps balance the flavors. Throwing in some chopped dates to this one but you can absolutely sub for some dried apricots – I adore the deep, rich Turkish apricots.
  • Yogurt Dressing – Lamb + mint and yogurt go hand in hand. This dressing combines tangy yogurt, dried mint and sumac – which has a lemony flavor and really brightens up the salad. One I’m sure you’ll keep in the fridge on repeat for everything!

Method of Cooking Lamb

For lamb shoulder chops I like to slow cook them just like in the popular Lebanese dish Fasolia. If you’ve never had that tender, fall off the bone lamb – you are missing out and will be head over heels when you try it.

The most traditional way of getting that succulent, tender, melt in your mouth lamb is by boiling. Yes, I know – boiling meat seems a little bizarre but the should chops can handle it and will yield such an incredible texture. Taking time to sear the chops beforehand enhances their flavor and will ultimately become incredibly tasty.

Sometimes we don’t have a few hours to be near our stovetop, thankfully modern technology has gifted us with the magic of electric pressure cookers. If you don’t have one, an investment in one would be a great idea, especially if you love cooking with lamb as much as me! With the press of a button and about 45 minutes – you’ll have the same tender, succulent lamb that you would achieve boiling with little to no effort.

If you make this Crispy Lamb Salad please let me know by leaving a rating and review below.

Glamburger

If you’re looking to up your summer grilling game, check out American Lamb Board’s GLAMBURGER contest!

Cook a Glamburger of your own, or support a local restaurant by ordering a lamb burger off of their menu. Share your photo of the lamb burger, tagging one (1) friend and @fanoflamb, and using the #Glamburger hashtag by August 31st for a chance to win a $1,000 gift certificate to glampinghub.com Check out the offical rules and details on the American Lamb Board page. Try your hand at this delightful Kofta Lamb Burger as your entry!

As always, I love seeing your creations. Please leave a review or share your dish with me on social media #cosetteskitchen which lets me know what is working for you! You can find me on Facebook,  InstagramTwitter and Pinterest. For more delicious recipes to your inbox, sign up for my newsletter!

xoxo,
Cosette

Summer recipes to try

Print

Crispy Lamb Salad with Yogurt Dressing

  • Author: Cosette’s Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: salad
  • Method: braise
  • Cuisine: Lebanese
  • Diet: Low Fat

Description

Tender lamb is topped on a crisp bed of lettuce and tangy yogurt dressing.


Scale

Ingredients

Lamb Shoulder Chops

  • 2 pounds lamb shoulder chops
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp sumac 
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf

Seared Lamb

  • 1 cup lamb (can add more and adjust spices as needed)
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp toum (can add 1/2 garlic powder in place)
  • 1/2 tsp sumac

Yogurt Dressing

  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 2 tsp toum (or 2 cloves garlic, minced)
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt 
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • juice of 1 whole lemon
  • 1 tsp sumac
  • 2 tsp dried mint *

Salad

  • lettuce (romaine or green/red leaf is great)
  • feta
  • chopped dates
  • olives
  • fresh mint
  • tomatoes

Instructions

Lamb Shoulder Chops

  1. Season chops with spices and rub on both sides.
  2. On medium high heat (or sear on electric pressure cooker) place chops and sear for 3-4 minutes on each side until a nice browning appears.

Electric Pressure Cooker Method:

  1. Add your seared chops to the pot and add 4 cups of water, enough to cover. 
  2. Add in a cinnamon stick and bay leaf.
  3. Seal pressure cooker and set to “high pressure” for 45 minutes.
  4. Allow to naturally release pressure for at least 15 minutes.
  5. Remove lamb from pot, drain excess liquid* and take out to cool.

Stove top Method:

  1. Add your seared chops to the pot and add 4 cups of water, enough to cover. 
  2. Add in a cinnamon stick and bay leaf.
  3. Allow water to come to a boil then reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for 2 hours.
  4. After 2 hours, lamb should be tender and falling off the bone.
  5. Remove lamb from pot, drain excess liquid* and remove to cool.

Seared Lamb

  1. When you’re ready to assemble your salad, take your lamb and season one more time with salt, toum (or garlic powder) and sumac.
  2. Place in non-stick pan on medium heat and allow lamb to cook with spices for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Lamb will darken in color and begin to slightly crisp.
  4. Remove and add to your salad.

Yogurt Dressing

  1. Place all of your dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until fully combined and emulsified. 
  2. Dressing can be stored in the fridge for 2 weeks when using fresh yogurt.*

Salad

  1. Assembling the salad is at your own discretion. I typically use about 2 cups of washed and chopped lettuce for 2 servings of salad.
  2. Add in about 1/3 cup of dressing and toss well.
  3. Top with your seared lamb and a little of each of your toppings. Add or omit anything you want. 
  4. Drizzle a little extra dressing if you desire.*

Notes

  • The liquid that the lamb is cooked in will contain fat, be sure NOT to dump this down the drain. I like to keep that pot out for several hours/overnight and the layer of fat will solidify to the top. Skim that off and compost or toss in the garbage – then the rest is straight liquid that you can dump or save as broth. You can also store the broth immediately after cooking in the fridge or freeze for later use (be sure to use freezer safe jars)
  • Your dressing will last as long as your yogurt is good, be sure to check the expiration date. 
  • You definitely want to use dried mint vs fresh for the dressing. The dried mint will impart much more flavor and also help your dressing to last longer. 
  • Take your salad to another level and WRAP it! All the same components, just toss into a tortilla for another quick lunch idea.

Keywords: crispy lamb salad, crispy lamb and feta salad, crispy lamb salad with yogurt dressing, lamb salad, lamb salad bowl, yogurt dressing, yogurt mint dressing, yogurt sumac dressing,



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