Spring Lamb for Summer - Recipe for Leg of Lamb Roasted with Mustard and Rosemary - Roasted Spring Vegetable Salad

Recipe for Roasted Leg of Lamb with Mustard & RosemaryNew season lamb is coming into its prime now – no more of those tiny little joints that take pride of place on the Easter table, but much larger ones that are a more attractive proposition for hungry Irish families. Bord Bia has produced a new recipe leaflet, ‘Lamb – Deliciously Simple Everyday Meals’, to help us make the most of it, and there’s a good range of recipes included, from a simple stir-fry to the weekend roast given below, so there’s something there for everyone.  The complexity of each recipe is indicated, along with the time to allow, cooking method and number of servings ; there’s also a nutritional analysis  - energy (calories), protein, fat, iron, and carbohydrate – to help with planning a balanced diet. For copies of the new leaflet, or further information, call Bord Bia on +353 (0)1 668 5155  or visit their website.

Leg of Lamb Roasted with Mustard and Rosemary

Many people are a little nervous of cooking roasts but, when there’s a crowd to feed, there’s nothing simpler – the aromas from the kitchen are wonderful and a roast always goes down a treat. This variation on the traditional roast gives mint a miss (although that other traditional companion, rosemary, is included), and will please those who enjoy lightly spicy flavours. Serve with roast potatoes and some simple steamed vegetables and you will have a great meal for family and friends.  Allow about an hour and a half.
Serves up to 10 portions:
1 leg of lamb, 2½ kg, well trimmed
2 tbsp. good quality mustard
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp. rosemary leaves, chopped
2-3cm piece of ginger, peeled and grated
1 tbsp. olive oil

Preheat a very hot oven, 220°C (430°F) Gas Mark 7.

Place the lamb in a roasting tin.  Mix the mustard, soy sauce, garlic, rosemary and ginger together and then gradually stir in the olive oil to make a paste.  Spread this mixture over the lamb.  

Put into the hot oven and roast for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 180°C (350°F) Gas Mark 4 and continue to roast for another 50 minutes.  The lamb will be cooked medium at this stage. Remove from the oven, wrap the lamb loosely in foil and allow to rest for 15 minutes before carving.  

Serving Suggestions: Roast potatoes and red onions can be cooked alongside the lamb – peel and quarter some potatoes and some red onions and mix with a little olive oil, bay leaves and seasoning. Roast for the last 50 minutes in the roasting tin with the lamb.  Just before serving, cook some lightly boiled or steamed fresh vegetables of your choice  – baby carrots and a green vegetables such as broccoli or spinach, perhaps. And don’t forget to use the pan juices – boil up with some of the vegetable cooking liquid (or otherwise a little stock made up from a cube), scraping the pan to get up the tasty bits from the bottom; add a splash of wine and a spoonful of redcurrant jelly if available; taste and season with a little salt and freshly ground pepper, if necessary; cook for a few minutes until slighty syrupy. Pour into a jug and hand separately. (If a thicker gravy is preferred, stir a little flour into the pan drippings and cook for 1-2 minutes over moderate heat, stirring, then add  in the vegetable stock and cointinue as above). Any left over lamb will be delicious in a sandwich or wrap, for the next day’s lunch.

SHORT ITEM: Roasted Spring Vegetable Salad

Recipe for Roasted Spring Vegetable SaladThis easy, tasty dish uses delicious new season vegetables to make quite a substantial salad to serve as an accompaniment to a hot main course, such as baked chops (or even a roast), or perhaps as a starter or light main course if you add some coarsely grated hard cheese, balls of goats cheese or other protein to make a balanced meal. You can speed up the roasting time by blanching the vegetables (cooking briefly in boiling water, refreshing under the cold tap and draining well) while the oven is heating. Serves 4
175g/6oz new carrots, scrubbed and halved
2 tbsp olive oil
100g/4oz asparagus tips
100g/4oz young courgettes, trimmed and halved
75g/3oz sugar snap peas
2 tbsp orange juice
Mixed salad leaves of your choice, eg cos, frise, 1amb’s lettuce etc (or  a bag of mixed salad leaves), washed and dried

Preheat the oven to 200C/Fan 180C/Gas Mark 6.
Place the carrots in a medium roasting tin with the olive oil. Roast for 10 minutes. Add the asparagus, courgettes and sugar snaps and roast for a further 10 minutes or until the vegetables are just tender.
Stir in the orange juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Leave to cool for 5 minutes.
Put the salad leaves into a large bowl, add the roasted vegetables and toss well to mix. Serve straight away, accompanied by some fresh crusty bread, if you like.


What Is It?
Valerianella  Locusta  also known as Corn Salad, Lamb’s Lettuce is a hardy annual plant grown for its leaves

Where Does It Come From? It is a European plant and has always been popular in kitchen gardens because it produces crisp young leaves for use in winter and spring, before the summer saladings come on stream.  Because of the growing interest in using a variety of leaves in salads rather than a single type (eg butterhead, or cos),  lamb’s lettuce is now more widely grown commercially in both Ireland and Britain.

Where Can I Get It? It is widely available in greengrocers and supermarkets and, along with other salad leaves, can be obtained directly from organic growers who operate a delivery system. It is also easy to grow, from seeds sown in spring (March-April) or late summer (August-September); do not allow the plants to flower. To use, you just gently pull up the whole plant, trim and prepare the leaves like lettuce.

What Can I Do With It? Use in the same way as other salad leaves, as part of a mixed leaf salad to serve as a side dish, or a main course salad with spring vegetables, perhaps, and warm or cold meat, fish, eggs or cheese, plus a crunchy ingredient like croutons or toasted nuts.

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