Lambs are gamolling in th fields, but are also great on our plates. Using asparagus, Andrew Pern has created a proper spring recipe.
4 x 115g (41⁄4oz) lamb loins from the saddle
2 tsp Pommery mustard
2 sprigs lavender leaves,
2 x goat’s cheeses (or any fresh,
soft variety) each weighing about
Cream, if required
1 tsp peppercorns, cracked
1 tsp finely chopped chives
Olive oil for frying
200g (7oz) wild rocket leaves
and soft garden herbs, such as oregano or flat-leaf parsley
12 medium asparagus spears
For the garlic croutons 2 slices wholemeal bread
115g (41⁄4oz) butter, softened
1⁄2 clove garlic, crushed
For the vinaigrette 3 tbsp each Pommery
mustard, extra virgin olive oil
and cider vinegar
1 tsp chopped lavender
1 tsp runny honey
Trim the lamb loins, roll in the mustard and then in the chopped lavender. Wrap tightly in cling film and chill until ready to cook.
To make the croutons, pre-heat the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas Mark 5. Remove the crusts from the bread and cut into 1cm (1⁄2in) cubes. Melt the butter in a small pan with the garlic – do not let it boil – then add the bread cubes and stir until coated with butter. Place on a small baking sheet and bake in the pre-heated oven for eight minutes until crisp and golden. Leave to cool.
For the mustard and honey vinaigrette, simply whisk all the ingredients together.
Blanch the asparagus in boiling water for two minutes, then refresh in iced water.
Cream the goat’s cheese in a blender for two to three minutes. Add a touch of cream,
if required, to slacken – the mixture should stand in peaks. Season with cracked black peppercorns and chives.
Unwrap the lamb. Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan and fry the meat for two to three minutes on each side until an even crust forms. Lift out of the pan and rest.
Pipe or spoon three pyramids of goat’s cheese at triangular points on four plates. Arrange the wild rocket, garden herbs and croutons in the centre of
the plate and one asparagus spear between each pyramid. Cut each lamb loin into five slices and arrange on top of the salad. Drizzle some vinaigrette around the plate and over the lamb to give it a little shine and serve immediately.