Yay for a long weekend in New Zealand for Waitangi Day. It's timed perfectly for those of us out there fighting the return to work blues and wishing we were still in the middle of their christmas holidays!
To make the most of the warm evenings over Waitangi weekend we cranked up the barbecue and gave our new outdoor table & chairs a test drive. The results were table & chairs = big tick, lamb/salad = yummmm, plus a few vinos to wash it all down. So good night had by all!
This moroccan inspired lamb recipe is equally good cooked on a barbecue or the stove. It takes a bit of prep, but you can do the dukkah in advance so it doesn't take too long to pull together.
DUKKAH LAMB CUTLETS WITH QUINOA & AUBERGINE SALAD
Recipe by Madalene Bovini-Hamel
½ tspn each of ground cloves, sea salt
1 tspn each of fennel seeds, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, paprika
a pinch each of ground turmeric, dried chillies
freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
30g chopped roasted hazelnuts (de-skinned)
40g chopped pistachio nuts
30g roasted white sesame seeds
Quinoa & Aubergine Salad
100g white quinoa
1 tspn ground turmeric
30g golden sultanas
1 tblspn each of clear honey, olive oil,
2 tblspn white wine vinegar
25ml pomegranate molasses
100g green beans, trimmed, blanched & sliced
1 - 2 tblspn each of chopped fresh coriander, mint, chives
5 tblspn dukkah mix (above)
1 tblspn each of sesame oil, clear honey
finely grated zest and juice of ½ lemon
6 - 8 lamb cutlets (depending on size)
sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
natural yogurt with extra chopped chives & coriander
To Make Dukkah - Using a pestle & mortar, crush the cloves, fennel, coriander & cumin seeds, the paprika, salt, turmeric, dried chillies & black pepper together to form a powder. Add the hazelnuts, pistachios & sesame seeds and mix lightly. The dukkah blend is ready so transfer the mixture to an airtight container until needed.
To Prepare Lamb - In a mixing bowl, mix the dukkah spice & nut blend with the sesame oil, honey & lemon zest and juice. Season the lamb cutlets with salt & pepper, then dip each cutlet into the dukkah mixture, rubbing the mix in & coating both sides. Place the cutlets in a shallow dish, cover & leave to marinate in the fridge for 40 mins.
To Prepare Salad - Cook the quinoa in a medium saucepan. Put the quinoa, turmeric & some salt & pepper in the pan & cover with twice as much cold water. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to a gentle simmer, cover & cook until the quinoa is tender to the bite, about 12–15 mins. Once cooked, drain the quinoa using a sieve, refresh under cold running water & drain again. Meanwhile, soak the sultanas in boiling water for about 10 mins or until plumped up, drain & set aside.
To make a vinaigrette, measure the honey, olive oil, vinegar & the pomegranate molasses into a small bowl & whisk to combine, season to taste & set aside.
Heat a griddle pan over a high heat until hot. While the pan is heating, cut the aubergine into 5mm-thick rounds & season with salt & pepper on both sides. Fry the aubergine slices in the hot griddle pan (don’t add oil) for about 2 mins on each side till you have dark griddle marks. Transfer the aubergine slices to a large shallow dish & pour over the vinaigrette, leave to soak & absorb the vinaigrette for 20 mins, turning over after 10 mins.
Mix the drained quinoa, green beans, chopped herbs & drained sultanas together, season & drizzle the vinaigrette from the dish of aubergine slices over to bind it all together.
Heat a large frypan over a high heat until hot. Add the lamb cutlets & cook for 3–4 mins on each side or until cooked to your liking. Transfer to a serving plate & cover with foil to rest for 5 mins. Serve the lamb cutlets with the quinoa salad, aubergine slices, with some natural yogurt mixed with herbs on the side.
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All Images © Deborah Aspray - Motif Lifestyle Images Ltd 2016