Rabbit kebabs in lettuce leaves

Rabbit kebabs in lettuce leaves

Lisa Cohen and William Meppem

Before they converted to Islam, the nomadic Turks survived in the steppes by hunting animals such as hare and rabbit, deer, horse and even camel, as well as by farming sheep. Although they brought their varied meat diet with them to Anatolia, the evidence is contradictory as to how much of it survived the Ottoman era. Today lamb is without a doubt the most commonly eaten meat in Turkey, with beef and chicken bringing up the rear. But we like to imagine a little group of nomads huddled around a campfire grilling rabbit kebabs on their journey ever further west into the desolate plains of central Anatolia.


Quantity Ingredient
1kg rabbit hind legs, boned
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon hot paprika
80ml extra-virgin olive oil
4 small vine-ripened tomatoes, cut into quarters
or 2 small onions, cut into quarters
sea salt
butter lettuce leaves, to serve
Whipped fetta dip, to serve


  1. Trim the rabbit meat of any fat and sinew, especially around the paw end, then cut it into 2 cm cubes. Combine the spices and oil in a bowl, then add the rabbit and toss gently to coat. Leave for 30 minutes to marinate.
  2. When ready to cook, heat a griddle or barbecue to its highest setting. Thread six cubes of meat onto each of eight flat skewers, with a piece of tomato at either end. Cook for 4–5 minutes, turning frequently and seasoning with salt as you go.
  3. Remove the skewers from the grill and serve them on the lettuce leaves. The idea is for everyone to garnish their own kebabs with a dollop of fetta dip and to eat them wrapped in the lettuce, instead of bread.
Middle Eastern
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