My family know my love of cooking all too well, so I was lucky at Christmas to get some great cook books with recipes I am itching to try.
My brother and his girlfriend bought me Marie Claire – 10 Years of Great Food by Michele Cranston. It is a really beautiful book, and best of all, it has these great sticky notes inside the front cover to mark out your favourite recipes. There’s also a shopping list pad as well. I love these little details!
This recipe sounded a bit odd – almond salad?? – but I’m glad I tried it. It is so delicious and I will definitely be making it again and again! It really is the star of the show and the lamb is very much secondary to it. I was surprised at how much flavour the salad had considering that the dressing is only made up of olive oil, salt and pepper.
I didn’t use lamb backstrap or loin fillets as the recipe stated. Instead, we grilled some lamb leg steaks. To be honest, the meat is unimportant and you can pair this with any grilled meat or fish you like. I really hope that a lot of you will try making the almond salad as it really is moreish!
Seared lamb with almond salad
2 x 300g lamb backstraps or loin fillets, trimmed
1 Tbsp olive oil
Almond salad ingredients
50g (1/2 C) flaked almonds, toasted and finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
a handful flat-leaf (Italian) parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
10 basil leaves, coarsely chopped
3 ripe roma (plum) tomatoes, finely chopped
1/4 red onion, finely diced
3 Tbsps extra virgin olive oil
To make the almond salad, put all of the ingredients in a bowl, season well with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and toss to combine. Set aside.
Put the lamb backstraps in a bowl with the olive oil and toss a few times to thoroughly coat the lamb. Heat a large heavy-based frying pan over high heat. Add the lamb and sear for 3-5 minutes on each side, or until cooked to your liking. Transfer to a warm plate, cover loosely with foil and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
Spoon the almond salad into the centre of four serving plates. Slice the lamb backstraps on the diagonal, arrange the slices over the salad and pour any meat juices over the top.