Griddled Spring Lamb with a Pea Shoot, Avocado, Feta and Mint Salad

Succulent, seasonal spring lamb marinated in rosemary, thyme, garlic and olive oil, pan seared on the hob and then finished in the oven. Served with a light salad of tender shoots and leaves, ripe avocado, salty feta and a fresh mint dressing.

RECIPE INFO

Serves 6

Preparation Time
min

Cook time
min

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Cook's NoteChoose the thicker, leaner, upper part of the leg and ask the butcher to bone and butterfly the lamb joint for you. This creates a larger surface area for the marinade and allows quicker, more even cooking.
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INGREDIENTS

Lamb and marinade:

  • 1.25kg leg of lamb – boned and butterflied
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 6-8 sprigs of fresh thyme + 4-6 sprigs of rosemary – leaves picked and chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic – finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1-2 teaspoons sea salt – before cooking

Salad and mint dressing:

  • 80g washed baby spinach leaves
  • 80g pea shoots
  • 1 large ripe avocado – stoned and diced
  • 115g feta cheese – diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 5 sprigs mint – leaves picked and roughly chopped
  • ¾ teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper

METHOD

Pat dry any moisture from the lamb and using a sharp knife make around 15-20 short cuts into the skin of the joint, approximately 3cm long and 1cm deep. Turn the meat over and make 3-4 shallow long slashes in the deeper parts.

Place the joint, skin side up, into a large flat shallow dish. Combine the marinade ingredients, but do not add salt at this stage. Rub the marinade into the meat, pushing it into the cuts. Cover and place into a refrigerator for a minimum of 4 hours, or overnight if possible.

Remove the lamb from the marinade and drain away any excess liquid. Leave at room temperature for 20 minutes before seasoning with the sea salt.

Pre heat the oven to: 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6/Fan over 180°C for step 7.

Place the empty grill over a low to medium heat on the hob and allow it to heat for 7-10 minutes. Test the grill temperature by dropping a few drops of cold water over the hot surface. If it sizzles and the water evaporates almost immediately, it is hot and ready for use. If the water produces steam and has no sizzle, heat the pan for a little longer and repeat the test. Use an oven mitt, handle glove or a thick cloth for gripping the cast iron handle at all times.

Place the lamb skin side down on the dry, hot grill and sear for 2-3 minutes. Turn the meat over and sear the other side. Repeat this process.

Place the grill into the oven and continue to cook for 23-30 minutes depending on how pink you like your lamb.

Remove from the oven, lightly cover with foil and rest the meat in the pan for 10-15 minutes.

To make the salad:

Place the prepared leaves, shoots, avocado and feta into a bowl. Whisk together the dressing ingredients and pour over the salad before lightly tossing the ingredients together.

To serve, place the meat onto a board, slice thickly and serve with the pan juices poured over. Accompany with the dressed salad.