The lamb rack – this attractive, bone-in roast is one of the finest cuts of lamb. It looks spectacular, and is incredibly easy to carve – simply slice down between the bones.
This dish goes beautifully with fresh spring greens, which are in season right now. These hardy cabbages are grown during the winter and harvested in spring, when very little else is growing. Spring greens are bursting with flavour and vitality, making them one of our most underrated vegetables.
Lamb with a pesto crust
1 rack of lamb with fat scored
1-2 tbsp pesto (plus 1 tsp for serving)
1 tbsp dry breadcrumbs
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Heat the oven to 220ºC/425ºF/Gas 7 and place the rack in a lightly oiled baking tray, mix together the pesto and breadcrumbs and spread over the scored fat. Roast the lamb rack for 18 minutes for pink (based on a 450g rack) or until done to your liking, remove and rest in a warm place for at least 5 minutes.
Meanwhile cook the spring greens, as per below.
Carve the lamb between the ribs and arrange on warmed plates on a bed of the spring greens, with the extra pesto and olive oil drizzled around the lamb to serve.
Serve with new potatoes.
By Jane Baxter, taken from the Riverford Farm Cook Book
Spring greens with garlic
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
2 wet garlic bulbs, chopped (or 1 garlic clove, sliced)
2 bunches spring greens, shredded crossways into 1cm strips
1 bunch wild garlic leaves, shredded
1 tbsp freshly grated parmesan cheese
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Melt the butter with the oil in a large saucepan. Add the garlic and cook for a few minutes without browning. Add the spring greens, turn up the heat and stir vigorously for about 4-5 minutes, until wilted. Stir in the shredded wild garlic leaves and cook for 1 minute. Add the grated parmesan, season to taste and serve.
(19 March 2014)