Barbecued lamb, smoky aubergine and feta wraps

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Helen adds a hint of smoky flavour to her lamb wraps with the addition of barbecued aubergines. The lamb is marinated in pomegranate molasses to give it a wonderfully tangy, subtle sweet flavour, then barbecued until slightly charred and topped with fragrant herbs, chopped chillies and a sprinkle of feta.

First published in 2016

Every year I make the statement that I will cook every single meal I eat, for the entire summer, on my barbecue. Not particularly practical for someone who writes about food; that 10 best summer soups article is going to take an interesting turn for a start.

Anyway, I try my best to plug whatever gaps I can with lovely smoky charred things and I’m guessing you do too, so here’s a recipe for a wrap I’ve been enjoying recently. And before you ask, yes I do count wraps as sandwiches, because, well, all the filings are encased in bread. It’s like I would class a hot dog as a sandwich, or a burger. So there.

This wrap also allows me to make a case for grilling as many elements of a meal as possible, i.e. not just the meat or fish or whatever you have chosen as the main ingredient. The fire is lit, so maximize your usage of it. Sides, sauces, relishes, whatever, they can all be improved by a lick of smoke.

Seen here, the aubergine, pierced and cooked whole until shrivelled and blackened, flesh scooped and used as a sauce. I pity people who have had a bad experience of aubergine; ‘it’s horrible and squeaky!” No, it’s not properly cooked. Treated correctly, it’s one of the greatest vegetables and one that really comes into its element on the barbecue. I find it hard not to chuck a couple on the corner of the grill every time I fire it up. It’s worth chucking lemons on too. Cut them in half and briefly caramelise - the acidity is reduced and sweetness coaxed out.

The lamb in these wraps is marinated in garlic, a shed-load of cumin and pomegranate molasses, then whipped over the grill very briefly, so the meat stays tender; too long and you’ll end up with something akin to a kebab made from squash balls.

Everything is whacked into a flatbread with feta, chilli, and heaps of fresh herbs, used like salad leaves, which is possible since they became affordable in decent bunches rather than sad plastic packets of scrawny hothouse runts.





Lamb wraps

Smoky aubergine


To begin, bash all the ingredients for the marinade in a pestle and mortar or blitz in a blender. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the lamb, ensuring each piece is covered in the marinade. Set aside to marinate for 1 hour. Thread the lamb onto skewers and set aside
Heat a barbecue until medium-hot
Once the grill is hot, pierce the aubergines a few times with a fork and place on the grill, turning every now and then until shrivelled and black all over. This should take about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool a little, scoop out the flesh and season with salt
To cook the lamb, place the skewers on the grill for a couple of minutes each side, until just cooked through
To assemble the wraps, smear each flatbread with a little aubergine, then top with herbs, lamb, feta, and chilli. Serve with a dollop of natural yoghurt if desired

Helen Graves is Head of Content at Great British Chefs. She's also the author of the cookbook LIVE FIRE: Seasonal Barbecue Recipes and Stories of Live Fire Traditions, Old and New, and the editor of Pit, an independent magazine with roots in live fire cooking.

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