SERVE with Lemon-Pepper Yogurt Sauce.
Persian Beef Kebabs
2 pounds sirloin steak
1 medium white onion, roughly chopped
5 medium garlic cloves, crushed
1 medium lime, juiced (about 4 teaspoons)
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 pinches saffron (steeped a few minutes in 2 tablespoons boiling water) or 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
8 (12-inch) metal or wooden skewers; if wooden, soak in water for 15 minutes
8 medium Roma tomatoes
Pita bread, for serving
Plain yogurt, for serving
Cilantro leaves, for serving
TRIM any excess fat from the steaks, cut into 1-inch cubes, and place in a large nonreactive bowl.
PLACE onion, garlic, lime juice, salt, pepper, and saffron or cumin, in a food processor and process until smooth. Pour mixture over meat, toss to coat, cover and marinate 30 minutes at room temperature, or up to 12 hours in the refrigerator.
HEAT grill to medium heat (350° F) and oil well. Thread meat on skewers, leaving at least 1/2-inch space between each piece of meat. Place tomatoes in a small bowl and drizzle with oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat thoroughly. Place meat and tomatoes on grill. Cook meat, turning once, until charred and medium-rare, about 7 to 10 minutes. Cook tomatoes, turning rarely, until blistered and soft, about 10 minutes.
REMOVE meat from skewers and have guests assemble their own sandwiches with meat, tomatoes, pita, yogurt, and cilantro.
1/2 cup white-wine vinegar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (preferably white)
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 1/4 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup olive oil
1 pound small zucchini, cut crosswise into 3/4-inch-thick slices
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 pound cherry tomatoes
1 pound baby eggplant (about 4 inches long), cut crosswise into 3/4-inch-thick slices
10 ounces cremini mushrooms, trimmed
2 yellow bell peppers, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 large red onion, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
WHISK together all vinaigrette ingredients in a glass measure until combined.
TOSS zucchini in a large bowl with 2 teaspoons oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 3/4 teaspoon black pepper. Repeat with remaining vegetables, working with 1 type at a time and keeping each batch separate.
THREAD vegetables onto skewers (thread zucchini and eggplant horizontally through slices so cut sides will lie flat on grill; leave about 3/4 inch between tomatoes, mushrooms, bell peppers, and onions, using 3 skewers per type of vegetable and not mixing vegetables on any skewer.
PREPARE grill for cooking over medium-hot charcoal (moderate heat for gas).
GRILL kebabs in 2 batches on lightly oiled grill rack, covered only if using gas grill, turning over once, until vegetables are tender (vegetables, except tomatoes, should be lightly browned; tomatoes should be blistered and shriveled), 6 to 10 minutes (timing will vary among vegetables).
TRANSFER skewers as cooked to a platter and, if desired, remove vegetables from skewers. Drizzle with some of vinaigrette and serve remaining vinaigrette on the side.
Source: Gourmet magazine, August 2006