ZA’ATAR CRUSTED LAMB RACK
WITH SMOKY EGGPLANT PUREE AND A PISTACHIO, PEA & MINTY SALAD
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 15 mins (+ 30 mins, or overnight, marinating time) | Cook time: 40-45 mins
It’s hard to go past a beautiful rack of lamb for a special dinner or celebratory lunch. But hey, why wait for a special occasion – isn’t every day worthy of a great lamb cutlet?
Our recipe contributor, Alana Lowes has created a wonderful recipe for us to hero the magnificent lamb racks we have in stock. Alana has paired the lamb with a lovely aromatic za’atar spiced crust and smoky eggplant puree. This is topped with a zesty, fresh and crunchy pea, pistachio and mint salad. The combination is so simple, but oh so good. You’ll want to use the lamb cutlets as spoons to scoop up the puree and salad. No judgement here – a cutlet comes with it’s own built in cutlery.
Recipe and images courtesy of Alana Lowes.
Za’atar spice mix
1 tbsp dried thyme (or dried oregano)
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp sumac
½ tsp salt flakes
¼ cup olive oil
900g lamb racks
Smoky eggplant puree
¼ cup tahini
Juice of ½ lemon
1 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 garlic clove
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Pistachio, pea & minty salad
½ cup fresh or frozen peas, blanched
½ cup fresh mint leaves
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 golden shallot onion, finely diced
½ tsp chilli flakes
Mix together the spice mix for the za’atar with half the olive oil and rub over the lamb racks. Set aside to marinate for 30 mins (or overnight).
Prick the eggplants all over with a skewer, then place directly over a low-medium flame on the BBQ or the stovetop. Cook for 15-20 mins or until the eggplant feels soft all the way through and charred all over. Remove from the heat and place into a bowl and cover with cling wrap. Set aside to cool.
When cooled, gently peel the skin from the eggplants, discarding the skin and keeping the flesh. Place the eggplant flesh into a food processor with the tahini, lemon juice, parsley and extra virgin olive oil. Process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and add more lemon if desired.
Preheat the oven to 200°C fan forced.
Place a large frying pan over a medium-high heat, add the remaining olive oil and brown the lamb racks all over for 1-2 mins, then place on a roasting tray and into the hot oven for 12-15 mins or until cooked to your liking. Set aside to rest for 5 mins, then cut into pieces two bones wide.
Meanwhile, to make the salad, mix all the ingredients together.
To serve, spoon the smoky eggplant puree onto a platter and top with the lamb racks then spoon over the salad, adding any extra fresh mint leaves as desired.