The clocks have gone forward, the evenings are immediately lighter and it’s officially SUMMERTIME!
Well,ok, it’s still Spring really, being the last day of March and the streets are lined with blossom-heavy trees shedding pink and white snowflakes of petals in the breeze.
I bought a little rack of lamb from the butcher yesterday so it feels perfect time to cook it.
But … how? Now that is the question.
I unashamedly ADORE rack of lamb, and if I had to one day choose a last supper it’s always going to be on the list (yes there’s a list, and I don’t know how I’d ever choose). Rack of lamb, cooked pink in the middle, with dauphinoise potatoes and a green salad with a mustardy French dressing - definitely on my last supper list.
But I don’t really feel like potatoes, i want something light and Spring-like … so I was kind of thinking Moroccan flavours perhaps, or Middle Eastern, or just a good classic Mediterranean vibe.
Since I didn’t really have any of the ingredients to make it clearly one thing or the other, it just turned into a very lovely round-the-world-in-one-tray-bake rack of lamb.
And very good it was too.
So basically, this isn’t really a recipe as such, just hopefully a Spring-board (ha! pun!) for you to add vegetables to a dish, then a rack of lamb and cook it all together until it’s delicious.
Do not skimp on the garlic cloves though, whatever you do - squishing out that gorgeous soft roasted garlic and spreading it onto the lamb should not be missed.
For what it’s worth, here’s how I made mine for two people.
Preheat the oven to 180 ish / Gas 7 ish (I’m a little vague on temperatures as I have gas and it’s immediately at the right temperature - I just checked and gas 7 is apparently 200 but that sounds a bit high to me, so I’ve suggested 180).
I asked my butcher to cut me a little rack of lamb with four cutlets/chops and he also scored the fat - you’ll need to do that with a sharp knife if yours didn’t come with it already scored - and I seasoned the lamb with a little salt and pepper
I added a little oil to a non-stick frying pan and sealed the meat quickly on the back before turning over and cooking it skin-side down for two or three minutes and the fat was slightly browned.
Into a baking tray / dish I put:
1 courgette, washed and sliced
several cherry tomatoes
some sliced red and yellow peppers
four cloves of garlic (unpeeled, just pop them in whole)
half a red chilli, diced
a couple of spring onions, chopped
some chopped fresh mint leaves (I’d kind of wanted fresh basil initially but didn’t have any)
a twist each of salt and pepper, and a little dusting of some ground cumin
a few sprays of cooking oil
Toss it all together to mix, then arrange the lamb skin-side up on top and pop it all into the over.
Oh and a little grated lime zest on the lamb!
Check it after half an hour and see how it’s doing and if you want the lamb done more - I actually cut my lamb in half at this stage and decided to give it another ten minutes or so.
I also threw in some black olives and a handful of chopped coriander leaves (yup, told you the flavours were all over the place on this one!).
And … it was delicious …
I’m not sure you can really go wrong with roasted vegetables and rack of lamb, no matter what mixture of herbs you might throw in!