Swan

Roasted Rack of Lamb, Umbrian lentils, Marinated courgette, Homemade ricotta, basil

by Swan Recipes 1 Jul 17

Roasted Rack of Lamb, Umbrian lentils, Marinated courgette, Homemade ricotta, basil

We are celebrating our own lamb and all the flavours of the kitchen garden this month, including our very favourite Greek basil, the small leaves are delicious and pack a surprising punch of flavour (pots are now available in the grocery section of most supermarkets).  What is particularly exciting about this dish is the Ricotta, a light curd cheese that has been made in Italy since the Bronze Age.  It is the perfect accompaniment to lamb and is surprisingly easy to make.  This simple recipe creates a delightfully smooth and creamy cheese that is very different to the bland mass-produced Ricotta most commonly found in the shops.  It is however, important to choose your milk carefully.  We only use local milk from free-range, grass-fed cows; the taste is particular to the area, and has a subtlety that changes through the seasons.  Look for the ‘pasture promise’ marque and you will taste milk as it should be. 

Ingredients

For the Ricotta cheese:

For the dressing:

For the lamb:

Method

For the Ricotta cheese:

  1. Place the milk, double cream and salt into a heavy bottom sauce pan.
  2. Bring the liquid to 85°c or scalding point just before it boils, add the lemon juice, turn down the heat and simmer for 5 mins.
  3. Remove from the stove, cover with a lid and allow to steep for an hour.
  4. Once steeped you should notice the milk has separated into large curdles. Strain through a muslin cloth and allow to sit in the fridge over night.

For the dressing:

  1. Place all the ingredients into a food processor, blitz until smooth.
  2. Season to taste.

For the lamb:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 200°c
  2. Slice the courgettes approx ½cm thick, place flat onto a tray, sprinkle with sea salt and leave to cure for 20 mins.
  3. Place the lentils into a medium sized, heaven bottom sauce pan. Cover in cold water, bring to the boil, simmer for 15 minutes or until soft. Drain when cooked and leave to cool.
  4. Place a large non-stick frying pan over a high heat. Carefully place the lamb racks into the pan, fat side down. Colour the meat on all sides sealing in the juices. Then place on the middle shelf of the oven and cook for 8 minutes. Turn the lamb every 2 minutes to cook evenly. Allow to rest for 10 minutes
  5. While the lamb is resting, place the cooked lentils into a medium sauce pan, cover with the olive oil, juice of 1 lemon and allow to heat gently on the stove. Season to taste.
  6. Using a ridged skillet pan, place onto a high heat and carefully char the courgette ribbons until bar marked on both sides.
  7. When cooked place the courgettes into a large mixing bowl, add some basil leaves and few splashes of olive oil. Check the seasoning and leave to cool slightly.

To serve:

This dish is perfect for family feasting or a plated dinner party. So arranging on the plates or large serving dishes is easy. Just gently heat your courgettes and lentils in some extra virgin olive oil in a large sauce pan covered with a lid for a few minutes. Arrange on your plates, then sprinkle with small basil leaves. Carve the lamb into individual cutlets and place on top of the courgettes and lentils. Take generous spoonfuls of your delicious fresh ricotta, a drizzle of olive oil and a few more Greek basil leaves to finish … the taste of summer.