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Lamb with Baked Herb Ricotta & Hazelnut Mint Picada

A recipe that will have everyone running to the dinner table.

Lamb with Baked Herb Ricotta & Hazelnut Mint Picada

Serves 6

500g baby beetroot, trimmed
3 bunches baby carrots
2 tbsp olive oil
4 x 250g lamb back straps
1 bunch rocket, to serve

Baked Herb Ricotta
500g ricotta
150g goat’s cheese
1 cup finely grated parmesan
2 eggs, lightly beaten
⅓ cup pure cream
½ cup parsley leaves, chopped
1 tbsp thyme leaves
1 tsp lemon zest

Hazelnut Mint Picada
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup torn sourdough bread
2 cloves garlic, crushed
½ cup roasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
½ cup mint leaves, chopped
½ cup parsley leaves, chopped
1 tsp lemon zest

Heat oven to 180˚C. Grease a 20cm round spring form pan. Place on a baking tray.

To make ricotta, beat cheeses, eggs, cream, herbs and zest with electric beaters until combined. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon into prepared pan. Cook for 1 hour, or until a skewer into the centre comes out clean. Set aside for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and keep warm.

Wrap each beetroot in foil. Wash and trim carrots and place on a baking tray. Toss with 1 tablespoon of oil. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 1 hour or until beetroot are tender when pierced with a knife and carrots are golden. Set beetroot aside to cool slightly. Remove foil and skin. Cut into thick wedges.

To make picada, heat oil in a small frying pan over a medium heat. Add sourdough and garlic. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until golden and crisp. Cool. Just before serving, combine all ingredients. Season with salt and pepper.

Preheat a barbecue plate or chargrill to a high heat. Brush lamb with remaining oil. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 7 to 10 minutes, turning once, for medium, or until cooked to your liking. Cover lamb lightly with foil and rest in a warm place for 5 minutes, before slicing thickly.

Slice ricotta into wedges. Serve with lamb and salad of beetroot, carrot and rocket. Scatter with picada.

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