Mar 18, 2017

A friend came to dinner..five years ago and I come back with that to blogging again!

Long long time ago...I mean some five years ago, when I used to write this blog regularly, a spring favorite- to cook and to feed- used to be lamb persillade (meaning parsley lamb in au french). Since then, the frequency of writing here and making the dish has somehow gone down proportionately. Today, what seems an eon away from that last summer in Boston, sitting on my patio on a balmy early spring day in Boulder, I just wanted to share the recipe and come back to the blog. Like you, I am too interested in finding how my life, writing, and cooking has changed.
Hello, Spring of 2017 and this is perfect, green dish for your St. Patty's day after!

Lamb Persillade
Inspired from Mark Bittman's inside out lamb persillade, when he used to write the column The Minimalist

You will need 
  • Butterflied leg of lamb and/or lamb shoulder chops (a total of 2 lbs, should feed 3-4 people). If you don't see either of the two cuts (lower cost), you may opt for lamb racks (more costly).
  • A bunch (or more depending on how much you love your parsley) of Parsley (take off the roots and stalk)
  • Zest of 1 or two lemons
  • 1/3 cup of olive oil (not extra virgin, as this would cook at high heat and EVOO turns bitter at such high heat and also becomes a carcinogen)
  • 3-4 big cloves of garlic. Coarsely chopped. Large cloves are what I go for.
  • 3 sprigs of thyme, leaves only.
  • Salt and pepper
Make the persillade
Put everything, except the meat, in the blender/ food processor. Puree. And add more oil if you need, till you get a green smooth paste
Now, make the lamb persillade
  • Line an oven-proof baking tray with foil. 
  • Place the lamb on a baking tray. 
  • Rub salt and pepper all over the piece of meat. 
  • Rub the persillade generously inside out- generously all over, really- butterflied leg of lamb.
  • Close the lamb like a sandwich. 
  • Refrigerate for some time (I use 1 hour). But if you are pressed for time, you can definitely start baking immediately. 
  • Preheat oven to 425F. Place the lamb in the oven. 
  • Bake for 40-45 min. 
  • Reduce to 350 and bake for an hour. 
  • Take out the lamb. It should be brown and crispy outside and rarer inside. 
  • Now, cut the butterflied leg of lamb into portions and spoon the juice all over and stick the tray (with the cut pieces) back in the oven. 
  • Roast for 20 min at 425-430 F. Broil for 2 mins
You are done!

You can have lamb persillade with a salad or bread or couscous. But I tend to make a side of rice dish  that complements the flavors and is a wink-and-nudge to risotto (maybe!)

You will need
  • 1 cup of  arborio or jasmine rice
  • 1.5 cup of chicken broth.
  • A bunch of spinach wilted in salted water, cooled and chopped
  • 2 small onions
  • 2 -3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup of sharp cheese. I like cheddar. Grated
  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream.
  • 1 tbsp butter
You should 
  • Mix the rice and broth in a bowl that will hold both. Stick inside the microwave. About 20 minutes should do the trick.
  • In a skillet, melt butter.
  • Add the sliced onion, garlic and sauté.
  • Add the rice and spinach. Mix well.
  • Add the cream and cheese. Mix well again.
  • Check for seasoning. If you are satisfied, you are golden :)
Serve as soon as you can (with the persillade or as is with a side of salad).

Happy living and healthy eating!

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