Rialto's Friulian Lamb Skewers Recipe

A cyclist-chef's Italian lamb skewers

Chef Jody Adams keeps the menu at her Boston restaurant Rialto fresh by taking regular inspiration-gathering jaunts to Italy. But these excursions aren't only about eating: Adams, a cycling enthusiast, also leads two-wheeled tours plotted around markets, restaurants and scenic spots for cooking classes. One dish she demonstrates are these fragrant, wine-infused lamb skewers–a specialty of Italy's Friuli region. Eat them right off the stick as an easy appetizer, or serve them over a bed of salad greens for an elegant summer supper.

Recipe adapted from Jody Adams, Rialto, Boston

Friulian Lamb Skewers
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Grilled lamb skewers recipe for chef Jody Adams of Rialto restaurant in Boston
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Total time: 0 minutes
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon sweet paprika
  • ½ cup red wine
  • ¼ cup minced parsley
  • 2 tablespoons minced mint
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  1. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, pepper and ½ teaspoon of the salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are soft and translucent, about 8 to 10 minutes. Increase the heat to high and add the cinnamon, paprika and red wine. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes or until thick and glossy. (You should have about ¼ cup of the glaze.) Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until cool, about 20 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, use your hands to combine the cooled red wine glaze with the parsley, mint, lamb and remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Form the lamb mixture into 18 portions that are 1 inch wide and 2 inches long (approximately 1 ounce each) and skewer each portion. Place the skewers on a plate, cover with plastic and refrigerate for at least one hour or up to overnight.
  3. Preheat a grill to medium-high and cook the skewers until cooked through, about 3 to 5 minutes per side. Serve immediately.
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