This gorgeous dish covers all the bases: It’s bright, fresh, savory, flavor-packed and damn satisfying. It’s been on the menu at Botanica in some form since day 1 as it’s a) downright delicious, and b) wholly indicative of how we approach meat: as something to be savored alongside lots and lots of lovely, colorful vegetables. We’ll go so far as to say that the salad is really the star of this dish. Once you taste it all together — a bit of spiced lamb with a big forkful of herbs and greens and a swipe of yogurt sauce — you’ll understand why.
Combine the spices and chile flakes. Add ¾ of the spice mixture, the onion, garlic and salt to the lamb and use your hands to thoroughly incorporate. Once mixed, spend another 30 seconds or so really working everything together. Let the meat mixture sit, refrigerated, for at least 3 hours before cooking (it can hang out overnight, too). If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for an hour before cooking.
While the meat is marinating, stir together the yogurt sauce ingredients. If your yogurt is extra-thick, thin it with a bit of water so that the sauce can be spooned/swooped on the plate.
Shape each kabob onto two skewers (you should get five or six kabobs from 1 pound of lamb) and place on a plate or pan coated with olive oil; turn the kabobs to coat both sides with a light layer of oil. Before grilling, sprinkle both sides with more spice mixture. Grill over a medium flame for 2-4 minutes per side (depending on the thickness of the kabob and the heat of the fire).
Stir together the lemon juice and zest, sumac, olive oil, salt and pepper to make a simple salad dressing. Toss with the greens, mint leaves, cilantro leaves, radish, cucumber and scallions and pile on top of the kabobs. Serve with the yogurt sauce on the side, and some salsa verde if you’re feeling herby.
*We make our own yogurt at Botanica — but before we did, we’d use Clover or Strauss organic California yogurt *We love Jimenez Farm and Marin Sun Farms for lamb