If you haven’t eaten lamb in a while, here are a few good reasons to head to the butcher shop: lamb is a complete protein, it’s high in iron, and a rich source of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). Another reason not to forget about lamb is that a recipe like this one – Lamb and Pomegranate Salad – just isn’t the same with beef, pork or chicken.
Lamb shoulder is marinated in garlic, ginger and a hint of cinnamon then slow-cooked until tender. Instead of salad dressing, the greens are tossed with the warm jus left in the roasting pan, topped with slices of succulent lamb and garnished with sweet-tart pomegranate seeds and fresh basil. The pomegranate and basil add bursts of flavor and color to the rich meat.
Leg of lamb is a cut of meat especially suited for holiday celebrations. Lamb is comforting and festive, rich and hearty and fills the house with a lingering, savory aroma that will have people hovering around the oven waiting for dinner. Lamb is a nice break from more commonly served meats like beef and pork and it’s agreeable to countless combinations of herbs and spices.
Aromatic herbs are a traditional way to adorn leg of lamb and you really can’t go wrong, no matter what herbs you choose. In this recipe, parsley and rosemary are combined with olive oil, garlic and salt to make a simple but amazing herb paste. Within a few minutes of putting the lamb in to cook, the scent of fresh herbs will be wafting out of the oven, becoming more deliciously intense as the meat cooks. Fresh mint and dill, basil and oregano and sage and parsley are other herb combinations to try. If you want to get more adventurous, open up your spice drawer and season the lamb with a bold blend of dry seasonings:
Inspired by Greek Moussaka, the flavors in this casserole of layered eggplant and ground meat might sound a little unusual, but it’s a mild dish that’s likely to appeal to everyone at the table. Plus, it’s one of those great meals that taste even better the next day. Overnight, the flavors meld together even more, the texture tastes richer and while the casserole is good hot, it’s not so bad cold, either. Primal Moussaka is the type of dish you’re going to want to eat a few forkfuls of right out of the fridge before warming the rest up.
The silky texture of the eggplant and the warm, savory flavors of cinnamon, allspice and fresh dill mixed in with the meat mimic the taste of the traditional Greek casserole. But there’s a lot that’s different, too. The cheese sauce thickened with flour that tops traditional Moussaka has been replaced with full-fat Greek yogurt that bakes into a surprisingly creamy and dense topping. The trick is mixing the yogurt with eggs and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. There’s a little bit of chopped kale thrown into the casserole (optional, but really tasty) and although the meat can be ground lamb, it doesn’t have to be. The result is a version of Moussaka that actually tastes a little like lasagna, minus the noodles.
Intrigued? Give the recipe a try tonight!
When most people think about firing up the grill or stoking a campfire to cook an outdoor meal, lamb isn’t the first meat that comes to mind. Isn’t lamb the type of meat that should be served on a fancy platter with mint jelly on the side, not seared over a campfire and eaten with your hands?
Personally, we’ve never liked mint jelly or those silly, frilly white paper caps that chefs stick on lamb legs. We like our lamb seared over an open flame in tender bite-sized morsels that have been richly seasoned and tenderized in a marinade. We slide the meat right off the skewer and pop it in our mouth – it may not be fancy, but it sure is good.
We can’t think of a better green to welcome in spring than one with an adorable name like Lamb’s Lettuce. Of course, this green has many identities and what you call it depends a lot on where you buy it. In France and in most American grocery stores it goes by the name mâche (pronounced mahsh), in Germany it’s called Rapunzel and in some parts of this country it’s called field greens or corn salad, because it’s known to grow wild in corn fields. But today, since we’re feeling in a spring mood, we’re calling it Lamb’s Lettuce and giving reader Richard Freund credit for reminding us how much we love this green in salad. Lamb’s Lettuce (or mâche, or field greens, or Rapunzel…) is unique not only for its delicate rosette shape, but also for its buttery texture. It’s usually served in salads, but can also be thrown into soup or wilted slightly in a quick sauté with oil.
There’s no such thing as a free lunch. You’ve heard that before, right? Economic theories aside, the saying means nothing comes free. Everything is a process, including food. Most of us already know that. We know how important it is that we take the time to understand – or at least think about – where it came from and, if it was prepared for you, how and what it was made from. Food choices are a philosophy of life, a display of respect for ourselves and our surroundings. And bad food choices are more than a stomach ache!
A few weeks ago, in the name of showing a little appreciation for local farmers, I went to a chic but homey restaurant nearby to sample from their menu of locally-grown and organic ingredients. (They even have organic beer!) I tried an appetizer of roasted lamb, aged balsamico and sage, and decided right then and there this dish held all the power of the entree. I would have to replicate it.