Za’atar lamb pittas with pomegranate and mint, ready in just 5 minutes, the perfect quick and tasty lunch.
I’m a big fan of lamb, I absolutely love the flavour. I don’t though eat it as often as I’d like, so when I was contacted by Lamb. Tasty Easy Fun, an EU campaign aimed at getting people eating more lamb, to create a twist on one of their delicious lamb recipes I jumped at the chance. It was the perfect excuse to get myself cooking it more.
Apparently many people think that lamb is difficult to cook (it’s no trickier than beef), too expensive (it’s cheaper than beef) or only really for Sunday roasts served with a decent dollop of mint sauce (The Lamb. Tasty Easy Fun recipes page will show that’s simply not true!).
Personally I think that there’s another reason that people don’t eat all that much lamb and that’s because quite a few people I know are a bit fussy about it. I love it, but Jon “claims” he’s less keen. I say “claims” because I purposefully chose to create a dish that could be made as an individual portion, perfect for a quick lunch or light dinner.
I made up one of these for my lunch, handed it to him for a quick taste, fully expecting him to take one bite and hand it back because he “doesn’t like lamb”… he ate the lot! Fortunately I had spare ingredients to make another one otherwise I would have gone hungry.
My point here is that I think there are people that don’t really give lamb a chance when they should. The different flavours that can be added (some of which go with lamb far better than anything else like mint or za’atar) or people’s tastes changing over time mean that it’ll turn out that they actually really enjoy it, even if they thought they wouldn’t.
These za’atar lamb pittas are my twist on the Tasty Easy Lamb recipe for Lamb Pittas with Tzatziki which is a brilliant simple recipe, perfect for a quick lunch or light dinner and can be adapted to serve as many or few people as you like.
I’ll admit that when I tried it I’d been a touch unsure about using cabbage as the salad base for the pitta but I was so wrong, as it adds a lovely crunch and subtle flavour that goes perfectly (seriously you’ll have to trust me on this one). I did try switching it for other things when I was making my za’atar lamb version but nothing else seemed to work quite as well. The combination of the herbs they’ve used and addition of the tzatziki gives a lovely fresh, greek flavour.
For my version I’ve created something more of a Middle Eastern/North African using za’atar (a delicious combination of sumac, thyme, marjoram, oregano and basil) and pomegranate molasses. I’ve kept the greek yogurt as, when it’s mixed with the pomegranate molasses, it makes a lovely creamy sauce with a slightly sweet, slightly bitter flavour which coats the other ingredients. The fresh pomegranate adds a little burst of sweetness (and looks pretty!).
Za'atar Lamb Pittas
- 160 g lamb strips - or lamb steaks cut into strips with any fatty or tough bits removed
- 1 tsp za'atar seasoning - (heaped)
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 4 white pitta breads
- 100 g white cabbage
- 2 tbsp greek yogurt
- 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses - see note 1
- 2 tbsp fresh pomegranate
- A few fresh mint leaves
- Place the lamb strips (160g) into a large bowl with the za'atar seasoning (1 heaped tsp). Toss the lamb in the seasoning until it is coated.
- Heat the olive oil (1 tsp) in a frying pan and once hot add the lamb and fry for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure it's evenly cooked - 3 minutes will mean it's medium, if you want well done then leave it in for a minute or two longer).
- Once cooked remove the lamb from the pan and wrap it in tin foil to rest while you prepare the other ingredients.
- Warm the pitta breads (I pop mine into the microwave for about 20 seconds until they puff up - this makes them easier to cut open) and then carefully cut them open. Roughly chop the white cabbage and place it into the pittas. Add the lamb. Finely chop the mint leaves and sprinkle them over. Drizzle over the greek yogurt (2 tbsp) and pomegranate molasses (1 tbsp) and then finally sprinkle over the fresh pomegranate (2 tbsp).
Any nutritional information provided is the estimated nutritional information per serving. Please refer to my guide to Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen nutritional information if you would like to learn more about how this is calculated.
Free From/Suitable For…
Can be made gluten-free by switching the pitta bread for a gluten-free alternative. Can be made dairy-free by switching the greek yogurt for a dairy-free alternative.
The ingredients for this recipe are easily available free from all these allergens. However, please ensure you double-check allergen information for all ingredients.