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Sizzle, Sensational Barbecue Food
by Julie Biuso
Lamb shortloins are thin strips of prime meat. All they need is a little seasoning and a quick sear on the grill to arrive at tender succulence. Served with these salads, they make an outstanding dish.
Serves 6-8

Beet Salad, Cucumber & Yogurt Salad and Seared Lamb

Beet Salad
• 1½ pounds (about 800g) small beets
• 1 Tbsp lemon juice
• finely grated zest of 1 lemon
• 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
• salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1/2 cup chopped fresh walnuts

Cucumber And Yogurt Salad
• 1 telegraph cucumber (long, tender-skinned cucumber), peeled
• salt
• 1 1/3 cups (300ml) thick Greek yogurt
• 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
• 3 Tbsp chopped mint

• 1 Tbsp ground toasted cumin seeds
• 1 Tbsp sea salt
• 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
• 1 Tbsp butter, softened
• 4 lamb shortloins (about 2 pounds total)

• 2-3 handfuls of arugula
• extra-virgin olive oil
• salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1 cup slow-roasted or semi-dried tomatoes (homemade or buy ready-made to save time!)
• baps (soft bread buns) or pita pockets

Wash beets carefully, put them in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, lower heat, partly cover with a lid and cook gently until tender or until the skin will wrinkle easily (about 45 minutes). Drain.

2. When beets are cool, slip off skins. Cut beets into large cubes. Mix lemon juice, zest and oil together, adding 1/2 teaspoon salt and a little black pepper. Toss cubed beets with dressing. Just before serving, add walnuts.

Halve cucumber lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Slice each half into thinnish half-moons. Transfer to a colander, salt lightly and let drain for 15 minutes. Pat dry with paper towels.

2. In a bowl mix together yogurt, garlic and mint. Add cucumber. Although mixture may seem quite stiff, it will thin a little as it stands. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.

Mix cumin, salt, pepper and butter. Smear over the lamb and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes, covered.

2. Cook lamb over gentle heat on a barbecue hot plate (cast-iron griddle) for about 5 minutes on each side. Allow it to brown nicely but it should remain medium-rare inside; it will continue to cook a little as it stands before slicing. Let lamb rest for 5-7 minutes before slicing thinly. Season with more salt and let juices run a little before transferring slices to the platter of arugula.

3. Dress arugula with a little extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, and strew it over a serving plate. Arrange lamb on top along with slow-roasted tomatoes. Use fresh baps (soft bread buns) or pita pockets, or toast them if preferred. Encourage everyone to build their own sandwich with arugula, tomatoes, sliced lamb, Cucumber and Yogurt Salad, and Beet Salad.

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