Lamb With Harissa Fig And Plenty Lentils

Post - - RECIPES -

ALTHOUGH figs are sexy, you could use apri­cots in a sim­i­lar way or omit the fruity as­pect al­to­gether and just use the harissa paste. The Plenty Lentils have their origin in the epony­mous book by Yo­tam Ot­tolenghi.

De­boned, but­ter­flied leg of lamb (about 2.5 kg)

8 figs

6 tsp runny honey

2 tbs dark brown su­gar

juice of ½ le­mon

2 tbs wa­ter

1 tbs veg­etable oil

4 tsp Red Harissa paste

4 tsp olive oil

For the plenty lentils:

2 cups cooked lentils

salt and black pep­per to taste

3 tbs olive oil

1 tbs veg­etable oil

1 large onion, diced

2 gar­lic cloves, minced

1½ tsp ground cumin

1½ tsp ground co­rian­der

4 tbs co­rian­der, chopped

4 tbs mint, chopped

2 cups baby spinach, shred­ded

For the le­mon yo­ghurt dress­ing:

juice and zest of 1 le­mon

1 cup full-cream yo­ghurt

Pre­pare the leg of lamb as in the recipe.

While the lamb is roast­ing pre­pare the lentils.

You could also pre­pare the dress­ing a good few hours in ad­vance, adding the yo­ghurt at the very end.

Place the lentils in a large mix­ing bowl and sea­son with salt, pep­per and olive oil.

Fry the onion in the veg­etable oil over medium-high heat.

When the onions be­come more translu­cent, add the minced gar­lic and fry for 1 minute.

Add the ground cumin and co­rian­der, and cook, stir­ring, for another 2 - 3 min­utes.

Add a drib­ble of wa­ter if you think your onions are look­ing too dry.

Toss the spiced onions through the lentils.

Stir through the chopped herbs and the shred­ded baby spinach.

For the dress­ing, add the le­mon juice and half of the zest to the yo­ghurt, and stir to com­bine.

I like to spoon the yo­ghurt on top and gar­nish with the re­main­ing zest.

The oily harissa is a great friend to this lemony yo­ghurt dress­ing, so when plat­ing, al­low some of the spicy red to driz­zle over the yo­ghurt.

Cut the figs in half. Mix to­gether the honey, su­gar, le­mon juice and wa­ter. Driz­zle over the cut figs to mar­i­nate. Add veg­etable oil to a hot pan and quickly put all the figs, cut side down in the pan so that they caramelise for a few sec­onds.

Turn the heat down to medium and quickly turn the figs over with your tongs so that the other side of the figs be­come ac­quainted with some heat too.

Re­move from the heat and set aside un­til you are ready to plate.

Stir the harissa paste and olive oil to­gether, in a small jug or bowl, un­til well com­bined.

For plat­ter plat­ing, spoon the lentils down one side of your serv­ing plat­ter.

Spoon the le­mon yo­ghurt dress­ing over the lentils, al­low­ing some lentils to be re­vealed be­neath the yo­ghurt blan­ket.

Slice the lamb into thin slices and lay on the other side of the serv­ing plat­ter.

Place the figs all around and driz­zle each half with the harissa.

If you had a clean, young fig leaf or

2 in your gar­den, you could place them be­neath the sliced lamb for an added wow fac­tor!

Serves 8.

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