Tuesday, March 22, 2011

dinner date - lamb with grilled vegetables

On Saturday night, I cooked dinner for a 4 of my girl friends. Pre dinner nibbles consisted of homemade hummus, and pita chips (I just brushed flat bread with olive oil and sesame seeds and grilled for a few minutes). The hummus was a bit of a freestyle recipe, but was a pretty standard combo of chickpeas, garlic, tahini, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper and olive oil. I saved some of the chickpeas to add on top, and then sprinkled the hummus with smoked paprika. Very simple, but much nicer than bought hummus.

I've been a Cuisine magazine subscriber for the last couple of years, and although I always enjoy reading it, I have probably only ever made a handful of recipes from it. Well, times are a changing, and I have vowed to try out at least one new recipe from each magazine (I know that's not many, but it's a start).

Our main course was from Cuisine, and was a recipe for lamb backstrap with chargrilled broccolini & zucchini salad. Sadly the broccolini at the supermarket looked very limp, so I went for broccoli instead, and also added green beans to the mix as they looked so fresh and crunchy.

I didn't feel like cranking up the BBQ so just grilled the veges in the oven and cooked the lamb in the pan which worked well. I seem to always overcook lamb, well, meat in general actually, so tried very hard to stick to the 3 minutes per side recommend time, but alas, there was only a vague hint of pink left of the lamb when I cut it. It still tasted good though.

The veges were a lovely combination, and the toasted sesame seed really enhanced the dish, as did the tahini & coriander sauce. The recipe recommends serving this with buttered orzo, but after our pre dinner nibbles, we were all feeling full, so didn't bother with the orzo.

It's nice to have a new dish in my repertoire, and I'll certainly make this one again.

Lamb backstrap with chargrilled broccolini & zucchini salad

Tahini & coriander sauce

1/4 cup tahini
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup plain yoghurt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons chopped coriander
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor, process until smooth, then season to taste. Set aside.

For the lamb & salad

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 small red chillies, thinly sliced
400g broccolini, trimmed
2 zucchini, trimmed and cut into 1cm sticks
1 lemon, thinly sliced
500g lamb backstraps
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
1/3 cup coriander leaves
buttered orzo to serve (optional)

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a small saucepan over low heat and fry the garlic and chili until the garlic turns golden. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.

Cook the broccolini in simmering salted water for 1 minute. Drain, rinse under cold water and pat dry with paper towels.

Brush the broccolini, zucchini and lemon slice with 2 tablespoons of oil and chargrill in batches over high heat until just browned. Toss the broccolini, zucchini and lemon with the garlic and chili mixture.

Brush the lamb with oil and chargrill over high heat for 3 minutes each side for medium rare. Remove from the heat and rest, loosely covered with tinfoil, for 5 minutes before slicing.

Place the broccolini salad on plates, top with sliced lamb and sprinkle with sesame seeds and coriander. Serve with the tahini and coriander sauce and buttered orzo.


  1. That looks like a perfect Kiwi meal!

  2. it looks so summery and delicious, particularly love the table cloth :)


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