Last weekend I had a little gathering at chez moi..(served enough croqueta’s to feed a small country, see recipe below) and was so thrilled to receive from some lovely friends (thanks Mr & Mrs C), Stephanie Alexanders ‘Kitchen Garden Companion’. It’s an absolute must for the keen kitchen gardeners and or anyone that loves cooking seasonally with fresh produce. Its categorised alphabetically by fruit, vege and herbs, and has about 4 – 5 recipes for each in it. So look out fellow bloggers, I’m now even more inspired to bring you some of these very special recipes. The front of this beautifully bound book says “Dig, Plant, Water, Grow, Harvest, Chop, Cook”. Although I really am responsible for the latter 2 components, (Mr de Burg to the rescue for the rest!) the book is chock full of gardening tips complete with when to grow/pick/harvest/fertilise etc. Ms Alexander has Kitchen Gardens Foundation bringing food education to children and families all over Australia, so this book also highlights how to get children involved in the entire process. (start them young I say!) So, having looked up mint in said publication, I share with you fatoush salad (thanks S.A!) and minted lamb cutlets. Enjoy and keep cooking, the more you do, the better your life gets. Honestly.
Prep time: approx. 10 min. resting time (at leave 1 hr.) grilling time: about 15 min :: Serves 2 hungry campers for dinner.
Kitchen stuff needed: a grill (we use an electric one endorsed by a once famous boxer!)/ or your ovens grill, Sharp knife, chopping board, salad bowl, another large bowl, cling wrap.
2-3 x tomatoes
2 x cucumbers
50 x mint leaves
1 x lemon (thanks SH & MH)
2x pita breads
4 x cos lettuce leaves
3 x cloves garlic
6 x lamb cutlets (or chops, you choose. Approx. 2 – 3 pp)
½ tsp. x cinnamon
½ tsp. x coriander powder
¼ tsp. x cayenne pepper
6 tbsp. x Olive Oil
S & P to taste
Let’s do it:
1. Chop finely 2 cloves of garlic and 20 mint leaves and put in bowl.
2. Add lamb cutlets, salt and pepper and 4 tbsp. of olive oil. Get your hands dirty and massage the minty/garlic oil though the lamb until well coated.
3. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate. Leave to rest overnight or a few hours if you have the time.
4. Deseed cucumber and tomatoes (if you want, not essential) and chop into 2 cm chunks and put in new salad bowl.
5. Chop cos lettuce into 2cm strips and add to tomatoes and cucs. Add remaining 30 mint leaves
6. Add cinnamon, coriander power and cayenne pepper.
7. Once grill is hot, start grilling minty lamb cutlets, approx. 4 min on each side (for pink in middle) or to your liking.
8. Back to the salad. Add 2 tbspn olive oil and cut your lemon into quarters, squeeze 2 x quarters into salad mix and get in there with your hands and give a good toss.
9. Just as your lamb is done and sitting aside resting, pop pita bread in toaster and toast about 1 min until crunchy.
10. Crumble pita into big 2cm chunks and add to salad just before serving (any earlier and it ends up soggy!)Give another toss and serve with your juicy minted lamb and a wedge of lemon.
Enjoy with a large glass of Margaret River Shiraz.
Soundtrack for getting Minted: Daptone Gold by Various Blue & Soul dudes & divas.