Sunday, January 31, 2010

We made it: roast lamb

My friend John believes that there's nothing a cup of tea can't fix. I feel the same way about roasts. There's something so soothing and satisfying about a good roast, especially for Sunday lunch or dinner. It's one of the easiest meals to put together - throw your meat and vegetables into the oven to roast, cook some carrots and greens separately, and you have a wonderful meal with a minimum of effort.

So you might think that a recipe for a roast is not necessary - and normally I would agree. But the Dec/Jan issue of delicious magazine included an intriguing recipe for shortcut roast lamb with watercress and hazelnut salad and I had to try it. It wasn't just the idea of a salad with a roast that attracted me (although it's the perfect way to enjoy a roast in summer) - the actual salad attracted me first, and the roast was a useful addition.

I urge you to try this recipe, even if you don't normally make roast. The salad is absolutely delicious on its own but it partners so well with the lamb - the soft cheese, toasted nuts and Dijon and balsamic dressing seem to pick up and highlight the crispiness of the lamb.

This recipe is another one in the "We Made It" challenge that Suzie from Munch+Nibble and I are conducting, where we aim to actually use our food magazines rather than just bookmarking them.

Shortcrust roast lamb with watercress and hazelnut salad

Recipe from December 2009/January 2010 delicious magazine

1 ficelle (half-baguette), thinly sliced
1 1/2 Tbs olive oil, plus extra to rub
1.5kg easy-carve leg of lamb
1 red onion, cut into thin wedges
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 Tb balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup (80ml) extra-virgin olive oil
1 bunch watercress, sprigs picked
150g soft goat's cheese, crumbled (I used marinated fetta and it was an excellent substitute)
75g hazelnuts, lightly toasted

Preheat oven to 170 degrees. Brush bread with oil, then bake for 15-20 minutes until crisp and golden. Remove and cool.

Increase oven to 190. Rub lamb with extra olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Roast lamb for 45 minutes, then add the onion to the pan and roast for a further 15 minutes. Remove lamb from the oven, cover loosely with foil and leave to rest for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk mustard with vinegar, then gradually whisk in the oil to make a dressing, and season with salt and pepper.

Place the watercress in a bowl and toss with half the dressing. Add the roast onion, croutons, cheese and nuts and toss together.

Carve the lamb, then divide among the plates. Serve with salad and remaining dressing on side.


Suzie said...

I feel exactly the same way about roasts - I'm sure it is a childhood thing for me. Even the smell of one in the oven is enough to make me feel that all is well in the world. Thanks for the endorsement of the salad - we'll give it a whirl.

Simply Life said...

looks great!