CLEOPATRA'S LAMB SALAD
4 cups shredded cooked lamb shoulder
5 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses (available at specialty food stores)
1/4 cup dry sherry
1 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup honey, preferably wildflower
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 cups cooked basmati rice
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
4 fresh apricots; peeled, pitted, and sliced into wedges (or 1 cup finely sliced, dried)
1 cup blanched slivered almonds, toasted
1 cup fresh pomegranate seeds
1 cup scallion greens, sliced very thin on an angle and soaked in ice water
1. In a large skillet, sauté the lamb in 1 tablespoon olive oil until crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and toss with the sesame seeds and pomegranate molasses. Keep warm.
2. In a small saucepan, warm the sherry over low heat. Add the raisins (add dried apricots, if using) and keep over low heat until the sherry has been absorbed. Let cool.
3. In a large skillet, whisk together the remaining 4 tablespoons olive oil, honey, lemon juice, salt and pepper over low heat. Toss in the rice, parsley, and mint.
4. Divide the rice among six bowls. Pile the lamb in the center. Top with the remaining ingredients: raisins, apricots, almonds, pomegranate seeds, and scallions. (Don't worry if you have leftovers -- this salad is just as good cold.)