Geoff Jansz visited Fox Studios Farmers Market, one of the many growers markets now established in capital cities and major regional centres. Geoff selected some succulent spring lamb, tender vegies, salad greens and fresh herbs, then used the Arena Restaurant kitchen to cook up a delicious lamb salad with a hot, sweet dressing.
Ingredients (serves 4-6)
1-1.5kg boneless leg of lamb
salt and pepper
300g green beans finely sliced
4 cloves garlic finely chopped (or 2 small bulbs green garlic, finely chopped)
2 medium red onions, finely sliced
1 small fennel bulb, finely sliced (bitter core removed)
2-3 mild red chillies to taste, finely sliced
350g washed mixed green leaves (try English spinach and the spiky green cress, mizuna)
1 small bunch mint leaves (Vietnamese or curly)
50g whole blanched almonds
1 long loaf crusty bread
1 jar marinated feta (from a deli)
juice of 2 oranges
80ml red wine vinegar
Season the lamb generously with pepper and salt and lightly cover all surfaces with a drizzling of olive oil.
Place the lamb fatty side down onto a hot grill and sear for 3-5 minutes then turn over and sear the other side. Continue cooking for another 10-20 minutes, turning once. If the surface of the lamb starts to char too much, turn down the heat to medium. To speed cooking time, cover the lamb with a suitable heatproof cover (even an inverted baking pan). The size of the leg and type of grill will affect cooking time. A meat thermometer is very handy. For medium-rare, remove the leg when the internal temperature reaches 51ºC. For medium remove the lamb at 57ºC. If you are grilling the lamb indoors, you will need good ventilation to clear any smoke generated by the grill.
While the lamb is cooking, prepare and combine the green beans, garlic, red onions, fennel and chilli, arranging them in a large mixing bowl.
Wash and dry the green salad and mint leaves and set aside.
Lightly toast the almonds in a frypan over medium heat. Warning: the oil in the almonds will keep them cooking once removed from the heat, so be careful not to burn them. Once cooked, let them cool then roughly chop.
Slice the bread thinly, lightly brush the slices with the marinating oil from the feta jar and place them on the char grill. Remove when toasted and smear on some feta cheese.
Let the grilled lamb rest in a warm place for 5 minutes then carve thinly across the grain.
Add the sliced lamb to the sliced vegetables and stir through. The heat of the lamb will warm and wilt the ingredients, cooking them slightly.
Add orange jiuce, red wine vinegar and a small drizzle of oil.
Add the salad greens, gently combine the ingredients and serve on a large plate with the toasted bread.
Phone: (02) 9361 3930.
Growers Markets Locations
See www.farmersmarkets.org.au for locations