Here in south-west England, heady, lilac-coloured lavender blooms from late June through July, looking beautiful and offering a real treat for the bumblebees.

Lavender and lamb are absolutely lovely together. On special occasions I like to roast a whole leg of lamb or hogget surrounded by freshly cut lavender – the lavender fragrances the meat in such a delicious way. These kebabs play on that same successful combination.

I like to finish them with crumbled feta cheese and a spoonful or two of runny honey and pretend I’m in Greece or something.

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Chef, author and food writer Gill Meller has written a number of cookbooks, including Root, Stem, Leaf and FlowerGather and Time. Additionally, you can find more of Gill's recipes on our website.

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Wild garlic bread sticks over a campfire


  • About 400g (14oz) lamb (off the bone), from the leg or the top of the shoulder
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 4–5 lemon thyme or regular thyme sprigs, leaves picked and roughly chopped
  • 2–3 heads of fresh lavender flowers, or 2 teaspoons dried petals, plus extra to finish
  • 3–4 oregano sprigs, leaves picked and chopped
  • 100g (3½oz) feta cheese
  • 1 tablespoon runny honey
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  • STEP 1

    Place the lamb down on a board and use a sharp knife to trim away any excessive sinew, membrane or fat. Slice the lamb into 1cm (½in) medallions or thereabouts. Place them in a bowl and add the extra-virgin olive oil, lemon zest (not the juice at this stage), garlic, thyme, lavender flowers and oregano. Season the meat with salt and pepper and tumble everything together. Leave to marinate in the fridge for a few hours, or overnight if you like.

  • STEP 2

    When you’re ready to cook, take the lamb from the fridge and thread the pieces of meat on to two skewers, or four if you prefer. Don’t force the meat on too tightly because that would mean the heat will take longer to reach the middle.

  • STEP 3

    Light your fire or barbecue and when you have a hot bed of glowing embers, set the kebabs down on the grill. Cook them, turning every 4–5 minutes, for 12–14 minutes if you’re using leg and 20–25 minutes if you’re using shoulder (that might seem like a long time, but lamb shoulder takes a bit more cooking), until the meat is lovely and caramelised on the outside and cooked through.

  • STEP 4

    Lift the kebabs off the grill to a board or plate. Crumble over the feta, sprinkle with a few extra lavender petals and trickle with honey. Serve with a good spritz of lemon juice, some flat breads (see page 29) and some minted yogurt or lemony hummus.

This recipe was extracted from Outside: Recipes for a Wilder Way of Eating by Gill Meller. Photography by Andrew Montgomery

Outside recipe book by Gill Meller


Gill MellerChef and food writer

Gill is a chef, food writer, author, food stylist, and cookery teacher who lives and works near Lyme Regis in Dorset.