For a bright yet warm salad great for dinner or meal-prepping, look no further than this Mediterranean-inspired Lamb Salad with Harissa Ranch!
I often draw recipe inspiration from restaurants I’ve been to, tweaking little things here and there to make it even more special + using my own mix of preferred ingredients and cooking methods. This Mediterranean-inspired Lamb Salad with Harissa Ranch are inspired by Cava, a fast-casual Mediterranean spot known for its bright and flavorful salads and bowls.
Spiced lamb and crunchy chickpeas are drizzled with a smoky harissa ranch that perfectly offsets the sweetness of the orange and fennel. It’s the perfect intro to spring and summer – and perfect for meal prep!
While there are quite a few ingredients, there are only a few components you’re actually cooking — the rest is all assembly.
Mediterranean-inspired Lamb Salad with Harissa Ranch
For the Harissa Ranch:
- 1 cup homemade mayo
- 2 cloves garlic peeled
- 2 scallions trimmed and chopped
- 3 tbsp mild harissa paste I use Mina brand. *You can use a spicy version for extra heat!
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- ¼ tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- ½ cup chopped fresh dill
- ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 2 tbsp lemon juice or 1 lemon
- 2 tsp white wine vinegar
For the Chickpeas + Lamb:
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp za’atar
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes optional
- 1 [14-oz] can chickpeas drained, rinsed, and patted dry
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 ½ lb. ground lamb
- 1 shallot finely chopped
- 1 ½ tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp mild harissa paste
- 1 ½ tsp Kosher salt
- 2-3 tbsp low-sodium beef stock
For the Salad:
- 10 oz shredded kale and cabbage blend I used the cruciferous crunch blend from Trader Joe’s
- ¼ cup thinly shaved red onion
- 1 small bulb fennel shaved thin
- 2 navel oranges segmented
- 2 tbsp fresh mint leaves
- 2 tbsp fresh cilantro leaves
- 2 oz crumbled feta optional
Make the Ranch:
- In a food processor, add the mayo, garlic, scallions, harissa paste, smoked paprika, cumin, salt, dill, cilantro, lemon juice and zest, and vinegar. Blend on medium until smooth and combined. Transfer to a mason jar and set aside in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.
Cook the Chickpeas + Lamb:
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix together the smoked paprika, garlic powder, turmeric, za’atar and red pepper flakes, if using.
- Add the drained and dried chickpeas to the prepared baking sheet, season with 1/2 tsp salt, half of the spice blend, and drizzle with olive oil. Toss to coat. Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and roast for 20-25 minutes until the chickpeas are golden and crisp. Set aside until you’re ready to serve.
- For the lamb, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Coat the pan with olive oil. Once hot, add in the lamb and shallot, breaking up the lamb with a wooden spoon. Continue to cook for about 7 minutes, or until the meat is no longer pink. Drain off the excess fat and transfer the skillet of lamb back to the heat.
- To the skillet, add in harissa, remaining spice blend, and 1 1/2 tsp salt. Stir to combine so that the meat is evenly coated. Cook, allowing the harissa to reduce a bit and the spices to toast, about 2-3 minutes, until you start to get a bit of a char. Reduce heat to low, stirring occasionally, to keep warm while you prepare the salad.
Assemble the Salad:
- In a large bowl, add the cabbage and kale mix, shaved onion, and shaved fennel. Add 3-4 tbsp of the harissa ranch (or more to preference) and a pinch of salt. Toss to combine. Once the greens are coated, add in half the oranges and half of the herbs. Gently toss once more.
- To assemble your bowls, plate the salad and top with lamb, crunchy chickpeas, the remaining oranges and herbs, and feta, if using. Enjoy!