Main Dish

Mediterranean Lamb Spear

Starlite Vineyards

5511 Hwy 128
Geyserville, CA 95441

  • RECIPE YEAR: 2013
  • RECIPE BY: Mike Matson, Vintage Valley Catering
  • YIELD: Serves 12
  • PAIRS WELL WITH: Starlite Vineyards Zinfandel

Applewood-smoked sea salt adds a rich, smoky aroma and flavor to these lamb skewers. You can find it in gourmet grocery stores and online - Amazon sells it, for example. If you have access to a smoker, you can smoke your own salt; applewood is the preferred wood.

  • 3 pounds lamb top round
  • Applewood-smoked sea salt, to taste
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/3 cups extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup almonds, toasted
  • 1 bunch wild arugula
  • 1 bunch Greek basil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 fennel bulbs, cored and thinly shaved (fronds reserved for garnish)


Prepare a medium-hot fire in a grill.

Season the lamb with smoked sea salt and pepper, and rub with 1/3 cup of the olive oil. Grill the meat to the desired doneness; rare is recommended. Let the lamb rest while you prepare the pesto and fennel.

In a food processor, coarsely chop the almonds. Add 2/3 cup of the olive oil and the arugula, basil, lemon juice and garlic and puree until the pesto is creamy. Season with salt and pepper.

In a sauté pan over low heat, warm the remaining 1/3 cup olive oil. Add the fennel and cook, stirring occasionally, until caramelized.

To assemble, have ready 36 bamboo skewers. Cut the lamb into 1-ounce slices. On each skewer, thread a slice of lamb, place 1 tablespoon pesto on top of the meat and add 1 tablespoon caramelized fennel. Garnish with the fennel fronds.

Starlite Vineyards

5511 Hwy 128
Geyserville, CA 95441