April 26, 2010

Lamb Salad-Saveur style

Succulent slices of lamb, roasted pistachio nuts, capers and roast garlic vinaigrette are a few of the flavours that went into this delicious dish and I cannot claim credit for any of it. Here at the Baker residence we have decided to dip into the culinary world of Saveur magazine for a few weeks and try some of the hundreds of recipes I have collected over the past 7 years.

I LOVE Saveur magazine as I have said many times. Nic and I have also made quite a few recipes over the years and always enjoyed the end result. However, like many other families out there we got caught up in the 'usual' family cycle meaning making the usual meatballs, making the usual roast chook. Now there is nothing wrong with this and I am certainly not complaining about the lack of flavour, but it was time for a change of flavours in our household. I/we wanted to taste other people's food.
 Don't get me wrong I love experimenting with flavours, textures and ideas but I also love to taste the way other people think when preparing food.
A prime example was this delicious lamb salad I found in issue 123 (page 66) of Saveur.
 The heading splashed across the magazines front cover states "Why lamb rules", and there on the front cover are two fabulous looking cutlets you just know taste sweet, juicy and down right delicious--of course I wanted to flip the page and read it from cover to cover back in 2009 and again last week!

I have made many a lamb salad and eaten oodles of lamb cooked in many different ways but one thing that stood out in this recipe was the use of mushrooms, capers and anchovies all mixing in with the regular lamb flavours (rosemary, roast potato wedges and thyme just to name a few). We added this recipe to our weekly list.
Another aspect to this challenge was for ME to follow the recipe as closely as I could. I am not allowed to do the usual skimming through the recipe, not really reading the method (thinking 'of course I know how to make a roast lamb salad')and doing what I think best. NO, I am making an extra effort to follow instructions and looking forward to the end result- untampered to the best of my ability.

Now having said that, I did need to change a few ingredients--for example when I asked my butcher for lamb top round he just looked at me and asked what the heck I was on about. In the end we both decided a butterflied leg would be a great substitute. Second, the recipe called for oyster mushrooms.....I love oyster mushrooms however the boys think they taste like a slippery, slimy- yeah, I don't think I need to go any further, you get the drift! Instead I bought enoki mushrooms and thought they would work a treat. My third and last sub was frisee lettuce. I once served this to the boys last christmas. Alex didn't touch it at all while Max chewed through a few leaves telling me it tasted like chewing on thorns, I just stuck with arugula leaves.
I'm not to sure I am allowed to reprint this recipe (copyright etc) so if you pop on over to Saveur's website, you can look it up in their archives, just remember it is from issue 123 and simply named 'Lamb salad'.

Ok now for the Baker families opinions:

The dressing of roasted garlic, sherry vinegar, capers, anchovies and olive oil was fantastic! A crisp, rich and tart flavour all rolled into one and when paired with the lamb itself, you couldn't stop eating it.

Alex being Alex decided he didn't like lamb (?) but loved the dressing so he sucked the salad dressing off the arugula leaves (no surprises) and lamb. Devoured all the oven roasted potato and rosemary wedges and of course didn't touch the butter and thyme sauteed mushrooms.
Max ate everything except, wait for it, the mushrooms!
I would definitely make this salad again, however I did find it took much longer to prepare than I thought it would, but maybe that was because I followed everything to the T? Not sure but next time I will no doubt take short cuts and possibly make the dressing ahead of time--great BBQ salad without a doubt.


Bryan said...

Sounds Wonderful! I would think those ingredients would play well together. I am with you regarding recipes not the best follower.

TKW said...

I'm with your boys on the frisee lettuce--it's like chewing crabgrass! Your salad looks like spring!

Katie @ Cozydelicious said...

This looks wonderful! That dressing sounds amazing. I don;t think I've ever had lamb on a salad. But I have been on a lamb kick lately (just posted about lamb chops, actually http://cozydelicious.com/2010/04/25/perfection-is-rare/) so I'll hav eto give this a try! Thanks!