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Recipe

Lamb Loin with Harissa Peppers, Eggplant, and Couscous

Servings: 4

To keep midweek meals interesting, I lean on spicy seasonings, crunchy toppings, and vibrant vegetables—with some carbs thrown in. You can vary this dish many ways—with orzo, say, instead of Israeli couscous; or with pesto instead of harissa.

Ingredients

  • 8 3/4-inch-thick lamb loin chops (about 4 oz. each)
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • Sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil; more as needed
  • 4 cups thinly sliced white onion (about 10.5 oz.)
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper (about 5 oz.)
  • 3/4 cup thinly sliced yellow bell pepper (about 4 oz.)
  • 1 small eggplant, peeled and cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch strips (about 8.5 oz.)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbs. harissa paste
  • 1-1/3 cups lower-salt chicken stock
  • 2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 cup Israeli couscous, preferably whole wheat (about 5 oz.)
  • 1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds (about 2 oz.)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (from about 2 lemons)
  • 1/3 cup lightly packed, coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
  • Whole-milk Greek yogurt, for serving

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 550
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 170
  • Fat (g): 19
  • Saturated Fat (g): 4
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 3
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 10
  • Cholesterol (mg): 80
  • Sodium (mg): 1350
  • Carbohydrates (g): 57
  • Fiber (g): 9
  • Sugar (g): 10
  • Protein (g): 38

Preparation

  • Season the lamb on both sides with 3/4 tsp. cumin, 1-1/4 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Heat 1 Tbs. of the oil in a large ovenproof skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, sear the lamb in 2 batches, about 3 minutes on the first side and 2 minutes on the other, until browned and cooked medium rare. Transfer the lamb from the pan to a plate, and set aside, tented with foil.
  • Lower the heat to medium low, and add more oil to the pan if it is dry. Add the onion and 1/4 tsp. salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is golden and softened, scraping up the bits from the bottom of the pan, about 5 minutes. Add the peppers, eggplant, garlic, 1/2 tsp. salt, and a few grinds of pepper, and stir to combine. Cover and cook until the vegetables are just softened, stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes. Meanwhile, stir the harissa into the chicken stock.
  • Add the smoked paprika and the remaining 1-1/4 tsp. cumin to the pan, and cook for about 30 seconds before stirring in the harissa-stock mixture and the couscous. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then cover, lower the heat to medium low, and simmer for 10 minutes. Fluff the couscous with a fork, and nestle the lamb back into the pan. Sprinkle with the almonds, drizzle with the lemon juice, and garnish with the cilantro. Serve with Greek yogurt on the side.

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