Sunday, April 25, 2010

Luscious Lamb

Today's dish is a simple but delicious salad that makes a great weeknight meal. You can throw it all together in about 20 minutes and it is full of flavour and a lovely contrast of textures. I created this just out of what I had in the fridge, along with some beautiful saltbush lamb rump that I had purchased from the Addison Road Organic Market the weekend before. (See the bottom of this post for more information on saltbush lamb - if you have never tried it, I highly reccomend it!)  

I think that this recipe would work really well with beef or even pork if you aren't that keen on lamb. It would also make a nice shared salad for a buffet or BBQ - just place it on a big platter and let people help themselves. We ate our salad with some warmed flatbread, which was ideal for wrapping around the filling and also mopping up all the delicious juices from the meat and the dressing. Yummo!

I used organic cow's milk fetta and tiny black wild olives from South Australia for this dish, but use whatever olives or fetta you like - I also think that this would work with a touch of goat cheese, mozzerella or even some nice fresh ricotta in place of the fetta. This salad has quite bold flavours, so it calls for quite robust salad leaves, which is why I chose lovely crunchy Cos lettuce (which is also my favourite variety) I would avoid any greens that are too flimsy or delicate.

This recipe serves two people.


Saltbush lamb salad with pumpkin, fetta, mint and pomegranate

You will need:
(For the salad) 2 lamb steaks, 1 teaspoon paprika, 1 teaspoon olive oil, cracked pepper, 1 baby cos lettuce (use a few handfuls of fully grown cos lettuce if you can't buy the baby version) 1/4 thinly sliced red onion, 1 tablespoon finely chopped mint leaves, 1 tablespoon pomegranate seeds, 1 cup diced, cooked pumpkin (I just microwaved mine until soft), 1 tablespoon olives (I used tiny black, wild olives from South Australia), 1/2 cup cubed fetta cheese.

(For the dressing) 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons white balsamic (you can use the dark balsamic if you can't get the white one), 1 tablespoon maple syrup, generous pinch of salt and pepper.

Method:
Combine the lamb steaks, teaspoon of olive oil, paprika and a generous grind of black pepper. Mix well and set aside. (You can do this a few hours ahead if you have the time)

Whisk together the dressing ingredients. Taste for seasoning and add more salt or pepper if required. Feel free to also add more balsamic if you want the dressing to be particularly tangy. Set aside.

Heat a pan and cook your lamb steaks to your liking - I like my lamb pretty rare but obviously go with whatever makes you happy. When the steaks are cooked, put on a plate, cover with foil and allow them to rest while you assemble the salad ingredients.

Using all of the salad ingredients - except the dressing, assemble your salad. Slice your lamb steaks (across the grain) into pieces. Add to the salad.

Tip any juices from the plate that the lamb has been resting on into the dressing and whisk together.
Drizzle over the salad. Serve right away.

*****

About Saltbush Lamb
I source my lamb from Drover's Choice, based in Coonamble NSW. The lamb grazes on saltbush, a native plant which gives them a rich source of minerals and nutrients not readily available from other sources. Because it is a deep rooted perennial plant, it assists with sustainable land management as it helps to prevent salinity. Saltbush requires very little water to grow, so it does not need irrigation or watering by the farmers. It also allows native wildlife to co-exist with the flocks, which means it is more environmentally sustainable. And finally, saltbush gives the lamb a spectacular flavour, so both your tastebuds and the environment win.

To find out more, or to get a list of locations where you can purchase saltbush lamb, check out the Drover's Choice website:  http://www.saltbushmeats.com.au/

*****

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